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Khehla Sitole and presidency mum on reports of 'intention to suspend' the top cop

06 October 2021 - 22:30 By TIMESLIVE
National police commissioner Khehla Sitole.
National police commissioner Khehla Sitole.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

National police commissioner Khehla Sitole and the presidency on Wednesday evening declined to be drawn on media reports suggesting that the country's top cop had been served with a notice of intention to suspend him.

When TimesLIVE reached him telephonically, Sithole said he was not able to comment on the matter. “Speak to Vish Naidoo about this, I have spoken to him and he will be able to comment,” he said.

National police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo said he could not confirm or deny an  enquiry about the purported notice.

Netwerk24 reported that the notice of intention to suspend Sitole had been sent by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale told TimesLIVE that he had no comment.

TimesLIVE reported in March that Sitole had come under fire since the high court in Pretoria ruled that he and his deputies had “breached their duties” in not providing and declassifying documents for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption.

The fight between Sitole and Ipid centred on allegations of corruption and the refusal of police top brass to declassify documents which the watchdog required to conduct an  investigation.

One of the allegations was around the procurement of a R45m intelligence-gathering device known as a “grabber”, used at the ANC's 2017 elective conference.

Ramaphosa's office, at the time, told the Sunday Times that the president was applying his mind to a request by police minister Bheki Cele to suspend Sitole.