Not yet clear if new police commissioner right person for job – POPCRU

Union says Sitole must first spell out his vision for SAPS before they can say if he will take service forward or not

POPCRU statement on the appointment of a new national police commissioner 

23 November 2017

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has noted the appointment of General Khehla John Sitole as national police commissioner by the president of the republic.

Over the years, we have witnessed a lot of inconsistencies that have taken place on the very position of national police commissioner, considering the many changes that have taken place therein since our democratic breakthrough. This has had a negative impact on policing in our country and has surely delayed the much needed progress that could have otherwise been attained in our common goal of fighting crime and building sustainable relations with our communities.

It can only be at such time when the newly appointed national police commissioner spells out his vision for the service that a determination can be made as to whether he would be the right person for taking the police forward or otherwise.

As it stands, there are no approved national and provincial structures, and the South African Police Service (SAPS) is operating in silos. We would like to see police stations being capacitated and managerial positions being reduced.

We are of the view that the SAPS needs to urgently review its entire organisational structure as it is currently bloated, and with a lot of duplicated positions. This state of affairs has continuously resulted in having many bosses with conflicting mandates and directives that have been a source of confusion and poor performance across the service.

Crime does not happen at the national and provincial offices, which is where manpower is currently located. The SAPS needs to urgently streamline the structure in order to build production capacity at police stations with these senior generals who are currently in conflict over power due to the duplicated roles.

Most significantly, the task of improving relations with communities remains sacrosanct to any future victories against criminal activities.

Issued by Richard Mamabolo, Media and Communications Officer, POPCRU, 23 November 2017