Who can become a Police Commissioner?

Who can become a Police Commissioner?

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says it's easier to become the national Police Commissioner than it is to become a police constable.

Gareth Newham Top Cops presser_jacs
Photo: Slindelo Masikane

The ISS's Gareth Newham, along with Corruption Watch, is briefing the media at the launch of a joint public awareness campaign, focusing on the appointments of the South African Police Service (SAPS) national Commissioner and the head of the Hawks.


Newham says the criteria to become a police officer is far stricter, than to become a national Police Commissioner.


"If the president wants you to become the national Commissioner of Police, you have to be over the age of 18, be a South African citizen by birth and not have a criminal record. You can throw a dart at a telephone book and see if that person will fit the criteria," says Newham.

Newham says the country has not had a competent police boss since the appointment of Jackie Selebi. 


"When the new Police Act is eventually tabled in Parliament, we would like to see active engagement to make sure that the appointment process of the Hawks and the national commissioner is framed by law," says Newham.


"It does not take away the president's power to appoint, but it ensures that the president can only appoint somebody who has been through a process which found the person able to do the job."

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