Pretoria: The South African Police Service (SAPS) says it has learned a lesson which will see additional checks and balances being implemented to prevent a recurrence of the controversial appointment this weekend of the Gauteng police head while he faces criminal charges.
On Saturday, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega announced that Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma will replace Mzwandile Petros, whose contract ended recently. However, Phiyega had to recall him hours after his appointment after it emerged that he faces a raft of criminal charges.
In 2008, Zuma was arrested in Pietermaritzburg for alleged drunk driving. It is also alleged that he failed to stop at a roadblock. After being arrested, he allegedly escaped from custody and prevented officers from taking a blood alcohol sample.
Zumawill vacate his position as a director at the SAPS.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale says there is a process in place within the SAPS to check on the status of officials to be appointed in senior posts.
That process, according to Makgale, was to check whether the candidate to the post has a criminal record and to check whether the candidate has any departmental investigations pending.
“In the instance of the promotion of Major General Zuma to Lieutenant General and to appoint him in the post of Provincial Commissioner, this process was followed, and the National Commissioner established that he had no criminal convictions and no disciplinary cases were pending against him.
“As he is a long-serving member of the SAPS – who over the years established a strong relationship of trust between himself and the employer, and is generally perceived as being a committed and dedicated public servant – there was, in line with current SAPS polices, no reason to doubt his bona fides,” said Makgale.
Makgale said SAPS will now level disciplinary charges against Zuma and investigate why disciplinary steps were not instituted against him in 2008 when he was arrested in Pietermaritzburg.
“The National Commissioner expects her police managers to lead by example and therefore expressed her sadness and disappointment in Major General Zuma for not being honest with her by declaring that he has criminal charges pending against him,” added Makgale.