National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole has resigned and will serve his last day on March 31.
The Presidency confirmed that Sitole’s early termination of his contract term was by mutual consent.
“President Ramaphosa and General Sitole agree that the early termination of the commissioner’s contract is in the best interest of the country,” the statement said. presidency in a statement.
“The time until General Sitole’s departure will allow for a proper handover of various tasks, including all ongoing investigations, to one of the senior members of the Saps team who assisted General Sitole”
President Ramaphosa said: “I am grateful to General Sitole for the constructive discussions we have had about the termination of his position as National Commissioner.
“I would like to express my appreciation to General Sitole for his service to the nation over many years in the Saps. I wish him the best in his future endeavours.”
An announcement will be made in due course on the filling of the position of Saps National Commissioner following the departure of General Sitole.
Civil rights group Action Society has welcomed Sitole’s departure from the police force.
“It’s a small step in the right direction, but Police Minister Bheki Cele should also be fired while an independent panel is appointed to select a competent national commissioner,” said Ian Cameron, Action Society’s director of Community Safety.
Sitole’s Rocky Ride as Police Commissioner
The police commissioner received a notice of intent to suspend, but it never happened because Ramaphosa deliberated on the matter.
In March 2021, Police Minister Bheki Cele had sent a request to the president to investigate Sitole.
Sitole came under fire after a damning ruling by the Pretoria Supreme Court in January by Judge Norman Davis, who found that the commissioner and two of his deputies had failed in their duties by refusing to provide and release documents that were required. by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) for its investigations into allegations of fraud and corruption.
The case is reportedly linked to claims of a money-laundering scheme to illegally access and pay out police money to buy votes at the ANC’s 2017 national election conference.
The allegations also include claims related to the purchase of a R45 million surveillance device known as a “grab device” used to intercept electronic communications.
Police watchdog Ipid also filed a criminal complaint against Sitole for failing to assist in the investigation of the 2020 murder of Lt. Col. Charl Kinnear, commander of the anti-gang unit.
There was no love lost between Sitole and Cele. Recently, a panel of experts described the strained relationship between the two police chiefs as untenable, especially as the two were unable to work together during the July unrest.
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