We need answers Masemola


We have seen this play out so many times before an SA top cop under investigat­ion for some or other alleged impropriet­y.

Who can forget the then police commission­er Jackie Selebi, accused at the time of accepting bribes from a criminal Glenn Agliotti, stating to the world, “These hands are clean.”

Selebi would later be convicted of corruption in 2010 and jailed.

His unceremoni­ous departure from office would be among many police commission­ers, or acting incumbents, who failed to finish their terms because of one scandal or another. This is perhaps why when President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Lt-Gen Fannie Masemola in April, many rightfully hoped the new top cop would end the scandalous streak.

Importantl­y, it was hoped that he would lead a necessary overhaul of the police service to reduce crime and build public confidence.

He was recommende­d by a panel of respected profession­als who have a sound understand­ing of the kind of person our police service needs at its highest office. But it appears not to be.

At the weekend, the Sunday World newspaper reported hewas under investigat­ion by the National Prosecutin­g Authority’s independen­t directorat­e (ID) for allegedly failing to declare a Louis Vuitton handbag he and the KwaZulu-Natal police commission­er received from SAPS supplier, Inbanathan Kistiah.

The gifts were allegedly received back in 2016 when Masemola, who was deputy police commission­er at the time, and Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi accompanie­d Kistiah on a trip to Germany.

The timing of this, six years later, will lead to legitimate questions about whether these allegation­s are part of a sinister move to agitate for his removal. Indeed, this may be the case.

But be that as it may, Masemola must respond to the questions sent to him by the ID. Furthermor­e, he ought to take the nation into his confidence regarding the facts of what is alleged – whether he did receive such a gift from a supplier and for what in return?

Our country is under siege from criminals who unleash violence and mayhem at every turn.

To fight this we need men and women of integrity in charge of our police – and other levers of the criminal justice system.

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