Phahlane slinks off af­ter Mbalula uses new broom like axe

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

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.

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