Public Protector to investigate political interference
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, welcomes the decision by the Office of Public Protector to investigate alleged political interference in the appointment of a Provincial Police Commissioner in the Western Cape. Please see letter attached.
On 31 October 2019, Minister Fritz delivered an affidavit to the Office of the Public Protector. This followed SAPS’ announcement on 28 October 2019, that the position of the Provincial Commissioner will not be filled but will in fact be re-advertised. Minister Fritz previously condemned this as it points to top-level ANC interference in the management of SAPS and government recruitment processes.
Minister Fritz said, “On Friday, 8 November 2019, I received confirmation that the matter would be investigated by the National Office in Pretoria. I am pleased that this matter will be prioritised with the seriousness it deserves. I will immediately follow up with the National Office to clarify who will be responsible for this investigation and request a regular update on the investigation. I hope that this process provides clear direction on addressing political interference in government recruitment processes.”
Minister Fritz said, “According to Section 207 (3) of the Constitution of South Africa, ‘The National Commissioner, with the concurrence of the provincial executive, must appoint a woman or a man as the provincial commissioner for that province, but if the National Commissioner and the provincial executive are unable to agree on the appointment, the Cabinet member responsible for policing must mediate between the parties.’ It is on this basis that I have made my complaint.”
Minister Fritz added, “As per the Constitution, only if there is disagreement on the appointment of the Provincial Commissioner between the National Commissioner and provincial executive must the Cabinet member responsible for policing [Minister Bheki Cele] mediate, or in this case re-advertise the position. I want it to be on record that there never was disagreement between the provincial executive and the National Commissioner over the appointment. There were, however, objections and allegations from the ANC’s Faiez Jacobs, who was not included in the panel.”
“I am disappointed that ANC members, and rumours of interference from national level politicians, have derailed an important process, setting back our urgent need to fill this post so we can bring safety to our residents. It is this alleged interference that I have asked the public protector to investigate. In the interim, I believe it is the best course of action by the National Commissioner to advertise the post as it has been compromised by the ANC. I hope that this second process will not be similarly derailed post facto,” said Minister Fritz.
Under the leadership of Minister Albert Fritz, the Department of Community Safety remains committed to using ever tool at its disposal, as defined by the Constitution, to safeguard the Western Cape.
Attention broadcasters, please find English audio clip attached.