Phahlane slinks off after Mbalula uses new broom like axe
FORMER acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane is facing an uncertain future after he was axed by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
He left Cape Town for Joburg in a huff after being relieved of his position and given two days to motivate why he should not be suspended from his old position as head of forensics.
But this may be the least of his problems, a reliable source said.
“He is too compromised. It was just impossible for the SAPS to keep him in the top job until the end of August when the new top cop will be announced,” the source added.
Now he has to face the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), which is cleared to conduct an unimpeded investigation into allegations of corruption against him.
Mbalula has used his new broom like an axe.
Also chopped within the first few days of his taking up his new post was Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza.
He has, moreover, promised at numerous engagements with communities throughout the country, as well as in meetings with the police top brass, that it will not be business as usual for the police.
As Mbalula contemplates who to propose as the next national police commissioner, Parliament has some ideas of its own, which it wants to bounce off the minister.
And they could do it as early as Wednesday, when Mbalula is expected to brief the portfolio committee on police on the spat between the now-axed Phahlane and Ipid chief Robert McBride.
Chairperson of the committee Francois Beukman said yesterday the committee would raise their proposal for the appointment of the national commissioner with Mbalula. They would raise it, he said, because the committee wanted the system to be changed.
A few weeks ago, the committee proposed that the Civilian Secretariat for Police should drive the policy proposal on the appointment of the police chief.
Beukman said at the time the National Development Plan (NDP) requires the president to appoint the head of the police on a competitive basis.
The role of Parliament was also addressed in the meeting with the secretariat when the proposal was made.
Beukman had said a panel must be appointed by the president to select the national commissioner and his/her deputy.
The panel, as directed by the NDP, would be responsible for the selection process and make recommendations to the president on the successful candidates for the positions of head of the police and the deputy.
The new acting national commissioner is Lesetja Mothibi. But his appointment is very much a holding position. He is close to retirement age and has no ambitions for the top job, according to our source.
The contract of suspended police head Riah Phiyega comes to an end on Saturday. She was appointed into the position in June 2012, but was suspended in October 2015 following the release of the Marikana report, which recommended her removal from the position. But she challenged the report in court.
Mbalula said they wanted a new commissioner in place in August – and this person’s job would be to create stability and concentrate on the fight against crime.