Top cops not appointed, violent crime flourishes
THE top positions of national police commissioner, head of the Hawks and director of crime intelligence are still vacant and opposition parties and crime experts have linked the leadership vacuum to the rise in violent crime.
The decision to appoint the country’s top cop and head of the Hawks lies with President Jacob Zuma.
Opposition parties and crime experts have accused Zuma of being “secretive” and having “no political will” to appoint competent officers to the top positions.
Gareth Newham, head of the Institute for Security Studies justice and violence prevention programme, said that since 2012, the police budget had increased by 50% but performance declined. Currently R87 billion has been made available for the police.
Newham said that with the breakdown of the structure, organised criminals have become “bolder and more vicious”.
The SAPS national commissioner is an all-powerful position and that person has the final say on almost all decisions in the organisation.
“It is not that there aren’t excellent police commanders but the president refuses to appoint them,” Newham said.
“Only one person can fix this and that is the president but he is not interested in appointing a highly skilled person for the job.”
He said no one really had an idea of who may be the contenders other than Zuma but he was snubbing the policies of the cabinet and his own party.