SAPU warns police commissioner over patronage appointments


National Police Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole, pictured following his appointment on 22 November 2017.

National Police Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole, pictured following his appointment on 22 November 2017.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Policing Union (Sapu) on Wednesday criticised recent top brass police appointments saying they were patronage awards to those loyal to national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole.

Sapu said it would like to send "a stern warning" to General Sitole over his latest appointments to South African Police Service (SAPS) top management which it found were "totally unacceptable".

The union said Sitole&39;s "appointment of unqualified deputy national commissioners is a major cause for concern".

Sapu said it was of the "firm view that the national police commissioner is using patronage to award loyalists instead of using capacity to appoint top management members".

The union added: "General Sitole has controversially appointed individuals like Lt Gen Jacob Tsumane as the deputy national commissioner for Crime Detection and promoted Major General to Lieutenant- General Ntombenhle Vuma to deputy national commissioner Management Advisory Services".

The police union said from a distance these appointments might seem progressive and deserving but on closer scrutiny, they were "just part of the patronage network the general is maintaining in the police service".

Sapu said it was also concerned about Brigadier Mahlalela appointment to a staff officer in the office of the national commissioner. Brigadier Mahlalela was part of former national police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s team.

The union said the controversial appointments were a recipe for disaster.

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"We would not like a situation where the already bloated top management of the SAPS has to deal with instability within," said Sapu in a statement issued by Oscar Skommere, the union&39;s general secretary.

"We call upon Gen. Sitole to seriously consider engaging with organised labour into this time bomb. We were hoping that Gen. Sitole’s appointment with Police Minister Bheki Cele will take the fight against crime to greater heights.

"There are more deserving police generals who can take the SAPS forward. SAPU is not calling for favours, we demand fairness and justice. To reward loyalists with senior and influential positions will not assist the SAPS."

Sitole&39;s office was not immediately available for comment.