Sehlahle Fannie Masemola is South Africa's new National Police Commissioner
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced Sehlahle Fannie Masemola as the new National Police Commissioner. The announcement comes after Khehla Sitole had agreed to an early termination of his contract
‘’Little over a month ago, I announced that National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole and I had reached an agreement about the termination of his role as National Commissioner with effect from today, 31 March 2022. I wish to thank General Sitole once more for his service to the nation over many years in the SAPS and I wish him the best in his future endeavours,’’ said President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Making the announcement during an address to the nation on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Masemola has an outstanding record of achievements in policing across South Africa.
‘’General Masemola has been a Deputy Police Commissioner with an outstanding record of achievements in policing across South Africa. This includes helping with the de-escalation of violence in KwaZulu-Natal after our first democratic elections in 1994. Masemola also brings to this position his experience in drastically reducing cash-in-transit crimes in the period around 2016. Masemola played a leading role in coordinating security for all elections since and including 1994. And he led the securing of major national and international events in our country, including United Nations Summits, Climate Conferences and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Most recently, General Masemola served the nation as Chairperson of the NATJOINTS on COVID-19, which coordinated government’s efforts across different sectors nationally and internationally to keep all of us safe.
‘’The weight of the nation’s expectation resting on the Commissioner’s shoulders will be matched only by the weight of the support government will place at the disposal of the Commissioner,’’ said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa says a selection panel was appointed by President Ramaphosa in February.
The panel comprised of Prof Sydney Mufamadi as Chairperson; Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga; Minister of Police General Bheki Cele; Retired Former Commissioner of Police Mr George Fivaz; Director-General in the Presidency Ms Phindile Baleni; Director-General of the National Treasury, Mr Dondo Mogajane, and Director-General of State Security Ambassador Thembisile Majola
‘’The selection Panel was convened to draft a short-list of candidates who would be considered for the vacant post of National Commissioner of Police. Twenty-four possible candidates – all of them currently serving as Lieutenants-General or higher – were invited to apply.’’
Five short-listed candidates were interviewed, with the interviews focused on the following critical competencies:
Strategic capability and leadership;
· Programme and Project Management;
· Financial Management;
· People Management;
· Community confidence level;
· Change Management;
· Problem solving and analysis; and
Ramaphosa says the Advisory Panel assessed candidates within, what he says, the broader societal, strategic, operational and reputational context of the South African Police Service.
‘’The Advisory Panel was guided in part by the decisive role the police service has in respect of nation-building and the ongoing national efforts to strengthen democracy and to entrench the rule of law. The Panel also noted the need to bring the police closer to the communities they serve and to rebuild the trust relationship. The selection process produced a select group of candidates who I can assure South Africans, were equal in their commitment to making South Africa a safer place.’’
The appointment is the latest in a series of commitments to strengthen the criminal justice system President Ramaphosa made in the 2022 State of the Nation Address.
During the address, the President said government would make resources available to recruit and train an additional 12 000 new police personnel to ensure that the SAPS urgently received the capacity it required.
In the past few weeks, Ramaphosa says they have reinforced the criminal justice system through the appointment of:
· A new Head of the Investigating Directorate (ID) of the National Prosecuting Authority; Adv Andrea Johnson
· A new Director-General of State Security, Amb Thembisile Majola and
Five permanent Directors of Public Prosecutions in five provinces where these positions had been occupied by Acting Directors.
· Adv NR Khanyane ,Mpumalanga
· Mr L Mzukisi , Northern Cape
· Adv N Somaru , Free State
· Adv N Bell, Western Cape
· Adv Makhari-Sekhaolelo, North West
Ramaphosa says Government’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster is at the centre of their efforts to deal with criminality and secure justice for victims of crime.
‘’One of the key national positions in which we want citizens and our men and women in blue to have absolute confidence is that of the National Commissioner of Police and the leadership of the Police. The National Police Commissioner is expected to work alongside the Minister of Police, colleagues and peers in the JCPS Cluster, the women and men of the South African Police Service, community structures, business and the private security industry to make the country safer.’’
Ramaphosa assured Masemola of Cabinet and government’s full support.
Commissioner, Be assured of our full support and backing as Cabinet and as government. I want to call on the leadership as well as the rank and file of the South African Police Service to pledge their support to you as well. You have the weight of the nation’s expectations resting on your shoulders, but I am confident you are more than up to this task and responsibility.
‘’Tonight I call on all South Africans to also offer our support to our new National Commissioner as he assumes his duties, because we can only eradicate crime if we work together, ’’ Ramaphosa concluded
General Sehlahle Fannie Masemola as the new National Police Commissioner.
Done By: Mitchum George