The Democratic Alliance (DA) was among the first to welcome the removal of General Khehla Sitole as National Police Commissioner, but the party reckons Police Minister Bheki Cele now be next to be given the axe.
President Cyril Ramaphosa terminated Sitole’s employment contract “by mutual agreement” with effect from 31 March 2022. Ramaphosa said this was in the best interests of the country – and that from now until the last day of his term, there will be a handover of tasks, including all ongoing investigations, to one of the senior members of the team at the SAPS that had been assisting Sitole.
Sitole was already facing the chopping block, as in October, he had to make submissions to Ramaphosa as to why he should not be placed on suspension. This was in the wake of a damning ruling by the High Court in Pretoria, ordering Sitole and his deputies Francinah Vuma and Lebeoana Tsumani to hand over classified documents to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). The presiding Judge Norman Davis found that the trio failed in their duties by not co-operating with IPID which was investigating several suspiscious deals within the South African Police Service (SAPS).
DA’S REACTION TO KHEHLA SITOLE GETTING AXED
While the DA’s Andrew Whitfield is pleased with General Khehla Sitole’s employment contract being terminated, it says the only way the credibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS) can be rebuilt is if Minister Bheki Cele is also given the boot.
“While the Sithole’s removal is welcomed, Police Minister Bheki Cele must follow suit if the President is serious about starting the hard work of rebuilding trust and credibility in the SAPS. The tit-for-tat political spat between General Sithole and Minister Cele has rendered the SAPS ungovernable. A complete overhaul at the very top is necessary to undo the damage caused by both men”
DA MP Andrew Whitfield
Now Whitfield wants to know the details of Sitole’s departure, including whether Ramaphosa has opted to give him a golden handshake.