SAPU criticises Bheki Cele for alleged interference in Khehla Sitole’s work

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The South African Police Union (SAPU) has criticised Police Minister Bheki Cele for alleged interference in the work of National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole.

This follows allegations Cele made in Parliament in the debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Cele accused Sitole of colluding with EFF leader Julius Malema to topple him.

In the video below, Minister Cele addresses Malema over alleged plot:

Sitole denied these allegations in a statement, saying he met with Malema on Cele’s request.

SAPU spokesperson Lesiba Thobakgale says they had enough of the cat and mouse game between the two leaders.

“How will the National Commissioner be respected by his generals because already the Minister has created cabals within the police service. Some are siding with the Minister and others with the National Commissioner. As you can see everywhere the Minister goes he is accompanied by the Deputy National Commissioner instead of the National Commissioner.”

“Is it supposed to be the Minister who is supposed to go around doing police operations or that is the task of the National Commissioner? We think he has gone overboard, instead of giving political direction he is taking over the work of the National Commissioner, even criticised the National Commissioner in public,” says Thobakgale.

Sitole faces possible sacking

In October 2021, Dr Bernard Coetzee of the Wits Global Change Institute said it was difficult for the National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole to continue working in an environment in which his credibility is being questioned.

President Cyril Ramaphosa served Sitole with a notice of intention to suspend.

Ramaphosa asked Sitole for representations as to why he should not be suspended.

Sitole has been found to have breached his duties as a police officer by allegedly intentionally frustrating the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) probes into suspected corrupt procurement deals in Crime Intelligence.