Police union: Sitole's looming suspension 'politically motivated'

Police union: Sitole's looming suspension 'politically motivated'

The South African Police Union (SAPU) says it believes the decision to institute action against police commissioner Khehla Sitole is politically motivated.

Presidency confirms Khehla Sitole suspension
Twitter: SAPoliceService

This after President Cyril Ramaphosa launched an inquiry to probe Sitole's fitness to hold office.

Ramaphosa wrote to Sitole on 20 September after he allegedly failed to cooperate with an investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

He was given 14 days to respond.

Sitole came under fire earlier this year when the High Court found that he faced a conflict of interest by refusing to hand over documents to Ipid in a corruption probe.

This relates to allegations he diverted police funds, with the aid of intelligence bosses, to buy votes at the ANC's 2017 Nasrec elective conference.

While it's understood he's made representations about why he shouldn't be sacked, Sitole's future now hangs in the balance.

SAPU general secretary Tumelo Mogodiseng says the alleged rift between Police Minister Bheki Cele and Sitole may be behind Ramaphosa's move.

"The reason for suspending a person is to prevent that person to interfere with an investigation, the damage and impact on the organization, and the seriousness of the misconduct. SAPU would like to know that after 10 months, what investigation is Genera Sitole going to interfere with. Ten months after the court's judgement, the President is only now intending to suspend General Sitole - the question is why now?"

"It is well known in the public that there is a feud between the Minister of Police and the Commissioner of Police, and this is hampering service delivery and this matter has not been attended to for a very long time."

Mogodiseng adds political interference has also made it difficult for Sitole to get the job done.

"When you check the fitness of the national commissioner - has he failed to address crime and if so, was he given an opportunity to perform without interference and we can confirm as a union that the national commissioner was never afforded the opportunity," says Mogodiseng.

"How do you judge this individual to say he has performed well or not if he was not afforded the opportunity to do his job without interference

"He could not do anything because the minister [Cele] was continuously trying to put a stop to everything he was trying to do."

Listen to Mogodiseng below:


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