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Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the announcement of the National Commissioner of Police

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My fellow South Africans
 
In the State of the Nation Address I spoke of our initiatives to strengthen the criminal justice system.
 
I said we would make resources available to recruit and train an additional 12 000 new police personnel to ensure that the South African Police Service urgently gets the capacity it needs.
 
I also said we would be giving attention to the re-establishment of community policing forums to improve relations and coordination between local police and residents of the areas they serve.
 
I said we would take a more inclusive approach to assessing the threats to our country’s security and determining the necessary responses. We will do this so that we don’t have a recurrence of the unrest of July 2021.
 
In the past few weeks, we have reinforced our 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 
 
In addition, the South African Police Service has begun the recruitment of 12 000 constables, who will present themselves to different police training colleges around the country from tomorrow.
 
Government’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster is at the centre of our efforts to deal with criminality and secure justice for victims of crime.
 
This an effort in which we are joining hands with all sectors of society, and communities in particular.
 
Stability and cohesion within the JCPS Cluster is a prerequisite for the fight against 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.
 
 
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.
 
Following my announcement on 25 February 2020 of General Sitole’s departure, I initiated a process for the appointment of a new National Commissioner of Police.
 
I did so in line with the powers entrusted to me by Section 207 of our Constitution which directs the President to appoint a National Commissioner.
 
The National Commissioner is appointed at the level of Director-General in our administration.
 
I appointed a selection panel to advise me on the appointment of a suitable person to lead the SAPS comprising 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
•           Integrity.
 
In addition to evaluating candidates on the basis of these competencies, the Advisory Panel assessed candidates within 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.
 
I thank the Advisory Panel for their application to this process and I welcome recommendations they have made on the South African Police Service of the future; recommendations on which we will reflect in Cabinet and in the JCPS Cluster.
 
Fellow South Africans
 
I now wish to introduce General Sehlahle Fannie Masemola as our new National Commissioner of Police.
 
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.
 
General Masemola also brings to this position his experience in drastically reducing cash-in-transit crimes in the period around 2016.
 
General 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.
 
A stable, capable and capacitated South African Police Service is our surest guarantee that our constitutional rights will not be violated by criminals.
 
Just as we have done tonight with the SAPS, we will be taking further steps to restore stability to all our security structures, including filling critical vacancies in the State Security Agency and Crime Intelligence.
 
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.
 
I thank you.