12 June 2012
CHANGES TO NATIONAL EXECUTIVE AND SA POLICE SERVICE
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, good afternoon.
Thank you for joining us at this special briefing on changes in the national executive and the South African Police Service.
You will recall that we have three vacancies in the National Executive. The first is that of the Minister for Public Service and Administration. The position became vacant following the tragic and untimely death of Minister Radakrishna “Roy” Padayachie while on duty in Ethiopia.
We remain saddened by the loss of a man who had contributed so much to our country, to the struggle for liberation and also in government in all the portfolios he has led.
We also have a vacancy that arose from the resignation of the former Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Mr Enock Godongwana and another caused by the transfer of the former Deputy Minister of Public Works, Ms Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu to the Ministry for Women, Children and Persons with Disability.
I am pleased to announce a few changes in portfolios, and the appointment of new Ministers and Deputy Ministers in some portfolios.
The Ministerial appointments are as follows:
Public Service and Administration, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu.
Defence, Ms Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula.
Transport, Mr Ben Martins.
Correctional Services, Mr Sibusiso Ndebele.
The Deputy Ministers are as follows:
Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga.
Public Enterprises, Mr Gratitude Magwanishe.
Public Works, Mr Jeremy Cronin.
Economic Development, Ms Hlengiwe Mkhize.
Higher Education, Mr Mduduzi Manana.
We welcome the new members of the National Executive and wish all, both the new members and those who are changing portfolios, success and progress in their new responsibilities.
MATTERS RELATING TO THE SAPS
In September last year, I appointed a Board of Inquiry in terms of Section 9 (1) of the South African Police Service Act to investigate the alleged misconduct by the National Commissioner of Police, General Bheki Cele, and to pronounce on his fitness for office or his capacity to execute his official duties efficiently and related aspects.
The Board of Inquiry Chairperson, Justice Jakes Moloi presented the report to me on the 20th of May. I would like to thank Justice Moloi and the members of the Board for the work done and the speed with which they executed their mandate.
The report was made available to General Cele who made representations to me thereon. I subsequently met with him on Friday the 8th of June to discuss the matter.
I would like to reflect on the progress made in the fight against crime since 2009.
In 2009, we decided to make the fight against crime and corruption one of our five priorities. This was because of the high levels of crime at the time, and the violent nature of the crime.
General Cele was appointed as National Commissioner in August 2009. He was given a clear brief to take the war to the criminals and to make South Africans safer.
The crime statistics indicate that the approach has worked. The crime levels have dropped over the years. Between 2009 and 2011, overall serious crime decreased by 5 percent.
In the same period, murder came down by 6,5 percent and attempted murder fell by 12 percent. Car hijackings declined by 24 percent while house robbery dropped by 11 percent.
These successes are also borne out by the results of the 2011 Victims of Crime Survey by Statistics South Africa. Among other things, the survey found that over 40 percent of households felt that the level of both violent and non-violent crime, had decreased in their area of residence during the period 2008 to 2010.
Furthermore, of those surveyed, about 60 percent of households were satisfied with the way the police and courts were doing their work.
We therefore would like to congratulate the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster, chaired by Minister Jeff Radebe for these achievements.
We also single out the Minister of Police Mr Nathi Mthethwa, General Cele and the South African Police Service personnel for the commendable work done to make South Africa safer.
I would in particular, like to extend my personal gratitude to General Cele for the unquestionable commitment to his work as National Commissioner. Leading from the front, he brought much needed passion, energy, expertise and focus that boosted the morale of the police leading to improved productivity and a visible reduction in crime levels.
A lot of good work has been done by SAPS. However, the reports of the Public Protector and that of the Board of Inquiry indicate deficiencies administratively, and in particular in relation to General Cele’s duties as an accounting officer.
The Board has found General Cele to be unfit for office and has recommended his removal from office in terms of the provisions of section 8(6)(b)(v) of the South African Police Service Act No. 68 of 1995.
Having thoroughly considered the report of the Board, and applied my mind thereto, I have decided to release General Cele from his duties.
General Cele still has a lot to contribute to the country given his experience and commitment to making South Africa a better place for all each day.
I would like to thank Lt General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi who has been acting as National Commissioner during the past few months.
He has done a lot of work to keep the force focused on fighting crime and corruption.
I have had a detailed discussion with Minister Mthethwa about what needs to be corrected immediately within the SAPS so that we can continue the excellent record of fighting crime.
These include management and financial systems as well as the breaches of information security within the establishment, which has unfortunately become common.
We have in the past few weeks witnessed a disappointing spectacle of police officers jeopardising state security by placing information in the public domain, in contravention of their oath of office.
This is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated if the fight against crime is to continue being effective.
The Minister and the New National Commissioner will assist us in dealing with these matters.
It is my pleasure to announce the new National Police Commissioner today who takes office with immediate effect.
She is Ms Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega, who is currently the chairperson of the Presidential Review Committee on State Owned Enterprises and the Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Commission on the Remuneration of Office Bearers.
Ms Phiyega brings a wealth of experience as a senior executive who understands the responsibility of government in the fight against crime and the duties imposed in dealing with state assets. I have every confidence that she will show leadership and acquit herself well as National Commissioner.
We wish her all the best in her new assignment.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I thank you for your attention.
Issued by the Presidency