While the termination of National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole has been widely welcomed by opposition parties and civil society, there are mounting calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to sack Police Minister Bheki Cele.
The presidency on Friday confirmed that Sitole’s early termination of his contract term was by mutual agreement, and “in the interest of the country”.
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Sitole, who has been at odds with Cele over a number of issues, will serve out his last day on March 31.
Political quarrel between Sitole, Cele
The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomed Ramaphosa’s decision to end Sitole’s employment, but said that “Cele must follow suit if the president is serious about starting the hard work of restoring trust and credibility” with the South African Police Service (Saps ).
“The political quarrel between General Sitole and Minister Cele has rendered the Saps ungovernable.
“A complete overhaul at the top is necessary to undo the damage caused by both men,” DA MP and police spokesman Andrew Whitfield said in a statement. statement†
‘Not working properly’
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), on the other hand, described Sitole’s early termination of his contract as “yet another example of mismanagement by Cyril Ramaphosa based purely on factional interests”.
The Red Berets said Sitole fell victim to Ramaphosa’s “cowardice and attempt to please his accomplice Bheki Cele”.
The party believes that the police minister is central to the challenges Saps faces, and that he should be fired.
EFF spokesman Sinawo Tambo said Ramaphosa fired the wrong person.
“Cele is a selfish individual, who wants to treat the entire police force as a personal legacy, where everyone must abide by their wishes.
“He is a character who tries to micromanage other individuals, even those who run the police bureaucracy, because he believes he is an expert in all matters related to security,” Tambo said in a statement. statement†
At the same time, the South African Police Union (sapu) also called on the president to fire Cele from the police ministry.
“We can say as a union that General Sitole’s departure is not in the interest of the country, but in the interest of politics,” Sapu general secretary Tumelo Mogodiseng said. enNCA on Saturday, describing Sitole as a “political victim” of the public spat between him and Cele.
“Why the mutual agreement? Has General Sitole failed in his duties? And if he has failed in his duties, why can’t he be held accountable and answer all these questions?” asked Mogodiseng.
civil rights agency Action Society also added his voice to the growing chorus of calls to remove Cele.
The organization’s director of community security, Ian Cameron, said Sitole’s departure was “a small step in the right direction, but Police Minister Bheki Cele should also be fired while an independent panel is appointed to appoint a competent national commissioner.”
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