The appointment of Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma as the Provincial Police Commissioner in Mpumalanga flies in the face of assertions by Acting National Police Commissioner (NPC), Khomotso Phahlane, that he is working to restore the image of the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) and to rebuild trust in their ability to fight crime in our country.
This comes after National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on Sunday announced the appointment of the new Mpumalanga police commissioner. This appointment certainly does not inspire trust as Lieutenant-General Zuma is shrouded in controversy for a number of incidences:
- Failing to disclose criminal charges against him to now suspended National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, in 2013 which forced her to remove him from his position as Provincial Police Commissioner in Gauteng mere hours after he had been appointed,
- Charges of drunk driving, attempting to escape lawful custody, defeating the ends of justice and not stopping when ordered to do so, which have since been withdrawn;
- Justifying extra expenditure on Nkandla as a part of “a contingency plan” to secure President Zuma after a report requested by Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko, found that an extra R31 million was needed for security upgrades;
- ‘Losing’ his firearm under suspicious circumstances, for which he pleaded guilty to losing the firearm and was given a fine.
None of these incidences are indicative of a man who is honest or a man who acts with integrity and probity despite assurances that there are no criminal or disciplinary charges pending against Lieutenant-General Zuma.
It is vital for the efficient and effective running of the SAPS and their ability to turn the tide against crime in South African that the leadership of the SAPS is beyond reproach. Unfortunately this most recent appointment does little to rebuild trust I the management of the SAPS.