‘We are spoilt for choice’
SAPS budget vs performance
The names of two senior officers believed to have been unfairly pushed out of the SA Police Service (SAPS) have come up as potential candidates for the position of national police commissioner. This follows the launch of a campaign to depoliticise the police service and to force government’s hand to institute a transparent process of appointing the next national police commissioner and the head of the Hawks.
The SA Police Union (Sapu) said the police service could always call back Leah Mofomme and Godfrey Lebeya for the positions of the national police commissioner and head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks).
Mofomme and Lebeya were deputies to former police boss Riah Phiyega, but left after a fallout with her.
A qualified advocate with more than three decades’ service in the police, Lebeya is also a doctor of law and has led, among others, crime intelligence, detective and forensic divisions.
Mofomme holds a PhD in philosophy and an MBA and served in the police for almost 29 years.
Sapu told City Press that these two names were proof that South Africa was spoilt for choice in its search for the next police boss and head of the Hawks.
“We are not saying they should be automatic candidates. They must be subjected to due processes through which the best candidate will be appointed,” said Sapu president, Mpho Kwinika.
They regard the pair as among a group of men and women in blue who have distinguished themselves “as true patriotic sons and daughters of the land” who fought crime with passion and excellence.
“It is unfortunate that they were booted out because of their dedication and commitment to the just cause of fighting crime in South Africa,” Sapu told City Press.
The police union has come out in full support of a campaign launched this week by Corruption Watch and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), calling for transparent processes of appointing both the national police commissioner and head of the Hawks.
The two organisations’ combined budget of R350 billion – which was poured into running the police in the last decade – yielded mostly negative results owing to the appointment of the wrong candidates to head them.
The call is now for these key positions to be advertised and applicants to be shortlisted based on set criteria, and then publicly interviewed. Role players are advocating a similar selection-andinterview process that aspirant Constitutional Court judges are subjected to before being appointed.
“The key failure is that the [decisions to appoint] previous national police commissioners from [Jackie] Selebi onwards were taken in secret, without being guided by any clear criteria. This is why they failed,” said head of the justice and violence-prevention programme at the ISS, Gareth Newham.
“The president appeared to be using criteria such as R BILLION 100 80 60 40 20 0 R36.39bn