“Action Society strongly condemns the appointment of another ANC puppet in such a critical policing role,” said Ian Cameron, community safety director at Action Society, after the appointment of Lieutenant-General Fannie Masemola as the new National Commissioner of Police.
After what seemed to be lengthy interviews behind closed doors with a group of several candidates, President Ramaphosa announced the new top cop this afternoon. Earlier this month, the president told MPs in the National Assembly that a panel would embark on a process to appoint the next National Police Commissioner. General Khehla Sitole served his last day today.
Lt Gen Masemola served as Limpopo Provincial Commissioner until 2013, when he was appointed as Deputy National Commissioner for Policing.
“There were far better internal candidates available to fill the role, such as Elias Mawela and especially Lucky Mkwanazi,” says Cameron. “In Action Society’s opinion, Mkwanazi would have been the best candidate to lead the way. He is still young, was a special task force member and has an excellent track record of strong leadership in the South African Police.
“Lt Gen Masemola does not have a track record of solid leadership. In fact, members on the ground do not like him and say he is just waiting around until he can retire in a year or two. He is not only a Cele-man but also a Zuma-man, and now he is a Ramaphosa-man – thus the ANC’s man. So the ANC is trying to cover as many lootable bases as possible before 2024.”
The new National Commissioner may be a career policeman, but he’s mostly worked with corrupt commissioners. However, just like Ramaphosa with Zuma, he never blew the whistle on any of them.
Federal policing becomes increasingly more relevant with the deployment of cadres in the force. However, if Lt Gn Masemola wants to achieve any success in his role, he must pay attention to the following key focus areas:
1) Skills Audit of all senior police members, including provincial and divisional commissioners and their deputies;
2) Resource availability for expert crime intelligence development in SAPS;
3) Reimplement SAPS reservist capacity;
4) An external panel of private firms to do an intensive SAPS Firearms Audit; and
5) Re-invest in specialist units for the police.