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CAPE TOWN, South Africa, January 18, 2018/ — The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police has welcomed the announcement by the Minister of Police of a mutual agreement between the Minister and the suspended Head of the Crime Intelligence (CI), Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli, leading to him being relieved from his duty.

“Lieutenant General Mdluli’s discharge will enable police management to appoint a permanent leader with the requisite skills, energy and innovative plans to guide the division to deliver on its mandate. The stability brought by the appointment of a permanent leader is essential if the unit is to add value in intelligence-driven policing,” said the Chairperson of the Committee, Mr. Francois Beukman.

The Committee has since its inception questioned the continued gap in leadership caused by the lengthy suspension of the head of a critical unit such as CI. The long suspension of Richard Mdluli points to the challenge within civil service of long suspensions without conclusion of disciplinary processes – yet receiving a salary and benefits. “This systematic challenge is unacceptable and must be urgently attended to,” said Mr. Beukman.

Following the release of annual crime statistics, the Committee reiterated the need for a move towards an intelligence-led policing and the hope is that the appointment of a replacement will aid the focus towards intelligence-led policing. The Committee calls for the urgent initiation of the process to fill the vacancy.

Furthermore, the Committee notes the process outlined by the Minister to appoint the Head of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI). It will be vital to appoint a high calibre candidate who will enjoy the confidence of the members of the DPCI but also of the public at large. “The fight against corruption and organised crime needs a talented individual with the necessary gravitas and leadership skills to ensure that the DPCI becomes more effective and professional,” said Mr. Beukman.

Mr. Beukman said the Portfolio Committee wants more detail on the new structure of regional commissioners that was announced by the Minister. “The Committee will need a comprehensive cost breakdown of the new structure and whether an extra management level will indeed bring value. If you have well-qualified cluster commanders and well trained and experience station commanders police stations must be able to perform.

The National Commissioner and his management team will appear before the Portfolio Committee on Police on Thursday, 1 February 2018 and will be engaged on these issues.

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