'Insult to our democracy' — Malema slammed for claiming Mkhwanazi looks good in uniform

21 July 2022 - 10:21
By Unathi Nkanjeni
An officer told TimesLIVE Malema's comment was an 'insult to law-abiding citizens'.
Image: Elvis Ntombela An officer told TimesLIVE Malema's comment was an 'insult to law-abiding citizens'.

A SA Police Service (SAPS) officer has expressed dismay at EFF leader Julius Malema's call for KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi to be appointed national police commissioner because he “looks good in uniform”. 

Malema this week called for Mkhwanazi to replace national commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola, after Masemola's alleged role in the aftermath of a burglary at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm.  

According to Malema, Mkhwanazi has what it takes to be a national commissioner and is what the country needs in the fight against crime. 

He also said the police service uniform looked better on Mkhwanazi than on other officers. 

“When you look at Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi in uniform, you see a man who is disciplined, a man who is determined to deal with crime,” said Malema.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, the officer, who asked not to be named, said Malema's comment was an “insult to law-abiding citizens”.

“I never thought in my SAPS career I would witness such a nonsensical comment from an MP, that a person must be given an accounting post of a national commissioner because he/she looks good in a uniform.

“This is an insult to our democracy and those law abiding citizens with so many credentials.”

The officer said there were many deserving officers who could fill the role of national commissioner based on qualifications and merits. 

“We have members that developed themselves and are well deserving to be the national commissioner. We have doctors in SAPS that are sidelined and looked down [on] because of their qualifications. SAPS has so many intelligent intellects that can be in the forefront to lead us with honours, masters and doctoral degrees [sic].

“Now we will be led [by] a commissioner who looks good in uniform? What a joke. That's a very lousy and a stupid remark. SAPS is falling because policies are not unpacked and implemented, and here we are hearing Malema talking nonsense,” said the officer.

Masemola was appointed earlier this year, and made headlines last week when he ordered the removal of presidential protection unit head Maj-Gen Wally Rhoode from his position.

The order came just weeks after former correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser laid criminal charges against Ramaphosa over a burglary and an alleged cover-up at his Phala Phala farm in 2020.

Ramaphosa said there was no basis for the claims and said he had “reported the incident to the head of the presidential protection unit of the police service for investigation”.

City Press reported that Masemola, in his role as deputy national commissioner at the time, allegedly authorised the use of police resources to find the burglary suspects.

Responding to the report, the EFF said Masemola should be given the boot and arrested.

“We call for the immediate resignation and arrest of Fannie Masemola as he has no moral integrity to remain as a commissioner of police. Masemola is preoccupied with servicing the tender interests of the ruling party as well as using state resources to aid the criminal activity of politicians,” it said.

The party said Masemola must reveal the names of politicians and ministers with whom he “conspired”. 

“The EFF will not tire in calling for accountability for the crimes Ramaphosa has committed and warns South Africans the worst it yet to come. All law-abiding South Africans must unite behind the call for Ramaphosa to step down.”

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