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SAPS national commissioner sidelines presidential protection unit head

Move is seen as part of damage control after the fallout over the alleged cover-up of Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm burglary.

14 July 2022 - 18:40
National police commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola has removed presidential protection unit head Maj-Gen Wally Rhoode from his post.
National police commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola has removed presidential protection unit head Maj-Gen Wally Rhoode from his post.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

In an apparent aim at damage control, national police commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola has ordered the removal of presidential protection unit head Maj-Gen Wally Rhoode from his position.

TimesLIVE can reveal the order was signed by Masemola on Wednesday.

The order, a copy of which is in TimesLIVE’s possession, is addressed to police minister Bheki Cele’s chief of staff, Hawks head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya and all SAPS divisional, provincial and deputy national commissioners and head office heads.

Titled “Command and Control: Presidential Protection Services”, the letter states: “To enhance service delivery a decision has been taken that the divisional commissioner protection and security services will, in addition to his current duties, oversee the command and control of the component: presidential protection services with immediate effect.”

The order which is addressed to the police's top brass informing them of Gen Rhoode's removal.
The order which is addressed to the police's top brass informing them of Gen Rhoode's removal.
Image: Supplied

Masemola calls for those addressed in the letter to inform all of those under their command.

Police spokesperson Col Athlenda Mathe, responding to questions as to why Rhoode had been removed from his post and whether he had been suspended, said: “As per the financial programmes of the SA Police Service, both the presidential protection unit and the protection security service fall under programme five. The move to streamline reporting lines thus aims to strengthen governance and accountability.” 

The order and sudden streamlining of reporting lines comes just a month after news broke of the burglary of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Limpopo Phala Phala farm and alleged attempts by Rhoode to recover and cover-up the alleged $4m (R69m) that was stolen.

Disgraced former State Security Agency director-general Arthur Fraser revealed the burglary had occurred, when he opened a criminal case last month.

In affidavit he claimed Rhoode had ordered that crime intelligence agents help through an unofficial investigation to track down the alleged perpetrators and recover the stolen loot. 



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