CAPE TOWN, February 11 – Parliament’s portfolio committee on police has condemned reports of various senior police officials who have appeared before the country’s courts on corruption and other related charges.
In a statement Sunday, chairperson of the committee, Francois Beukman, said that the committee condemns any act of criminality by SAPS members, more so those committed by senior SAPS officials. “Senior officers must lead by example in the fight against crime.”
The statement said “over the past week several current senior and former senior South African Police Service (SAPS) officials have been subjected to court processes in the country. Some pleaded guilty on corruption-related charges, others were sentenced for long prison terms while others must still offer their pleas in the related court cases”.
The statement said the committee welcomes efforts by the criminal justice system to root out the criminal conduct by SAPS members.
Beukman said that ongoing lifestyle audits of senior officers, strict implementation of the National Development Plan’s recommendations on recruitment and promotions, and concerted operations by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) in relation to systemic corruption in SAPS is essential to deal with criminal conduct by police officers.
Disgraced former acting national commissioner of the South African Police Service, Kgomotso Phahlane, and his wife appeared in the commercial crimes court this past week in connection with charges of corruption, amounting to R900,000.
Beukman said the new national police commissioner must move speedily to reclaim the credibility of the SAPS and must ensure that any official suspected of crime is properly investigated and processed accordingly. “South Africans can only respond positively to the call to fight crime if they have full confidence in the SAPS. The implementation and strengthening of vetting processes will go a long way in ensuring that only officers with integrity remains in the employ of SAPS.”
The statement added that the committee will engage with National Commissioner Khehla Sitole on Wednesday to get a full report on all cases against members of his senior management team and progress towards conclusion.
– African News Agency (ANA)