National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole’s job hangs in the balance after he submitted his reasons to President Cyril Ramaphosa saying why he should not be suspended
“While the president considers these representations, further engagement on this matter will be between the president and the national commissioner,” said the Presidency in a statement released on Thursday.
“The president wrote to the national commissioner on 20 September 2021 in relation to allegations of the failure of the commissioner to assist the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).”
The president had invited General Sitole to make representations on the notice to suspend him.
Ramaphosa outlined this context in his letter to General Sitole and gave him 14 days in which to respond.
The commissioner has since submitted representations in this regard.
There have been reports that Sitole and his boss Police Minister Bheki Cele have been at odds for some time.
Sitole’s troubles began when IPID was investigating anomalies in the purchase of a grabber – a powerful device for conducting cellphone surveillance.
These allegations emerged publicly and became the subject of a finding by Judge Dennis Davis in the Pretoria High Court.
Ramaphosa has indicated to the national commissioner that the issues arising from the high court judgment are serious.
The president has deemed it appropriate at this stage to institute a board of inquiry into Sitole’s alleged misconduct and fitness to hold the office of the national commissioner of police.