Action Society welcomes the Supreme Court of Appeal judgement upholding the suspension of National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole.
Sitole received a letter of suspension from President Cyril Ramaphosa last month. The notice came in light of the High Court decision in January which found that Sitole and two of his lieutenants (Francinah Vuma and Lebeona Tsumane), had “breached their duties” by intentionally frustrating the Independent Police Investigating Directorate (IPID) investigations into corrupt procurement deals within the Crime Intelligence environment.
The Supreme Court of Appeal has found no exceptional circumstances warranting a relook at a refusal to appeal the sentence handed down by the Gauteng high court in January 2021, when Judge Norman Davis found the trio had breached their duties.
“Sitole and his two top officers were not only suspended but were also criminally charged. Action Society would like to see urgent prosecution and an example must be made of Sitole. Government needs to relay the message that corruption will not be tolerated and that those found to be corrupt will receive the full might of the law,” said Action Society Spokesperson, Ian Cameron.
We would like to reiterate that the time has come for an independent body of policing experts to appoint the future National Police Commissioner, Divisional Commissioners and Provincial Commissioners of the South African Police Service (SAPS). This needs to be done in the name of justice for South Africa. “The SAPS needs to be properly appointed and equipped, starting from the top down. The ANC has proven time and time again that it is not capable of appointing proficient SAPS leadership. We urge government to establish an independent body to deal with these crucial appointments,” said Cameron.
Action Society also believes that the current Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula and all those involved must also be further investigated. It has come to light that in December last year a meeting was held at a hotel in Pretoria where Sitole, Vuma, Tsumane, the advisor of then Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, and a couple others met with a businessman from I-View, a company under investigation by IPID. The meeting was to discuss the purchase of a R45-million surveillance device needed to thwart a national security plan. The meeting was captured on CCTV.
The SAPS needs to be properly equipped, starting from the top down. The SAPS leadership has to be scrutinised and held accountable for their failure to bring justice to victims. “The SAPS has not had a single National Commissioner that has not come under scrutiny for corruption or political interference in the last more than 20 years,” Cameron concludes.