Mbalula celebrates after last day of acting police boss Mothiba

Fikile Mbalula
Image: Bafana Mahlangu

Police minister Fikile Mbalula said on Thursday he had a “not so nice” relationship with former acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba.

According to Mbalula‚ Mothiba disobeyed directives that Mbalula issued. “I had a very‚ very‚ very‚ very not so nice relationship with him (sic). I can say it now at the end.”

Mbalula took exception to information that crime intelligence allegedly leaked to the media.

“That’s anarchy. Where police officers leak confidential stuff and minutes (sic). That tells you that that thing is not and you get it from police generals (sic). I will never respect such people … It’s like a police officer who decided to be a criminal‚ to be rogue.”

Mbalula said this when he introduced the new permanent national police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole at a press conference at the Pretoria West Police College. Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba served as the acting National Commissioner until President Jacob Zuma announced Sitole’s appointment as the new top cop on Wednesday.

Sitole joined the police in 1986. He became provincial commissioner in the Free State in 2011‚ deputy national commissioner of policing in 2013 and divisional commissioner of protection and security services in 2016.

Sitole is the first permanent national police commissioner since General Riah Phiyega was suspended in October 2015. Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane also served as acting national commissioner.

Sithole is the sixth police commissioner appointed by Zuma and the first 'career cop' to be appointed as permanent national police commissioner since then-president Nelson Mandela appointed General George Fivaz in January 1995.

The DA said they are concerned about Sitole’s ability to resist political pressure. DA spokesman on police matters Zakhele Mbhele said Sitole granted then-AU chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma the use of the presidential protection service “without merit or grounds” when he was the divisional commissioner of protection and security services.

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