Max does not know his place
YOUR article, “Max and Petros face off over control of cops” (Weekend Argus, August 15), refers.
After Police Commissioner Mzwandile Petros briefed the provincial safety standing committee last week, Community Safety MEC Lennit Max allegedly told the media that he was “responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient working of the police in the province and that he had the power to direct them”.
I did some research on present legislation to establish the facts.
In terms of section 6(2) of the Police Service Act No. 68 of 1995, “there shall be a provincial commissioner of the service for each province, who shall be appointed by the National Commissioner subject to section 218(1)(b) of the constitution”.
Furthermore, in terms of section 12 (1) of the same Act, “a provincial commissioner shall have command of and control over the service under his or her jurisdiction in the province, and may exercise the powers and shall perform the duties and functions necessary to give effect to section 219 of the constitution”. Max, a former provincial police commissioner himself, should know this.
Also, section 2 of our constitution quite clearly states that “this constitution is the supreme law of the republic; law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid, and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled”.
There is, therefore, no basis in law for Max’s embarrassing utterances and he appears to be unfamiliar with his mere oversight role.
Also, in the normal chain of command, Petros does not report to Max but to the national commissioner of police. Petros was therefore correct when he stated, “operationally, I am the chief ”.