President Cyril Ramaphosa has told the media that the country’s security cluster is plagued by both operational and personnel challenges.
The President was fielding questions from the media after replying to the debate in Parliament of his State of the Nation Address.
Ramaphosa says a full understanding of what exactly is wrong with the sector will be revealed by the State Capture Report.
However, he says significant issues have been flagged by Sydney Mufamadi’s 2019 report on the State Security Agency and last week’s Expert Panel report on the July 2021 unrest
Ramaphosa says, “The reason why we have highlighted the notion that there will be changes is precisely to address some of these challenges that we have seen that are apparent which also speaks to the spats for instance in the police which is a manifestation of some of the problems we have in the police particularly.”
He says he is concerned about the relationship between Police Minister Bheki Cele and Commissioner Khehla Sithole.
It was exposed as difficult by the Expert Panel Report into the looting and violence in July last year as well as during the SONA debate where Cele accused Sithole of plotting against him with EFF leader Julius Malema.
VIDEO: President Ramaphosa engages with the media:
Last week during his SONA address, Ramaphosa vowed to develop a national response to address all the weaknesses, that the Expert Panel appointed to review the country’s response to the July Unrest have identified.
Ramaphosa announced the appointment of an Expert Panel to look into the country’s response to the unrest.
The panel found among others that Cabinet must take full responsibility for the violence.
Ramaphosa said they take the blame and will make necessary changes.
“We released the report of the Expert Panel into the civil unrest in July last year. The report paints a deeply disturbing picture of the capabilities of our security services and the structures that exist to coordinate their work. The report concludes that government’s initial handling of the July 2021 events was inept, police operational planning was poor, there was poor coordination between the state security and intelligence services, and police are not always embedded in the communities they serve.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s SONA speech:
Additional reporting by Ntebo Mokobo.