President Cyril Ramaphosa notified National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole, last month that he intends to suspend him and asked him to make representations as to why he should not be suspended, the Presidency has confirmed.
This after the police commissioner was found wanting in a North Gauteng High Court judgement earlier this year.
The judgement found that Sitole and fellow officials Francinah Vuma and Lebeoana Tsumane had “breached their duties” and “thwarted” an Independent Police Investigating Directorate (IPID) investigation into suspected fraud and corruption in a R45 million tender at the police service by not handing over critical documentation relating to that contract.
In a statement on Thursday, The Presidency said scrutiny will also be placed on the commissioner’s fitness to hold office. This is merited by the public interest in the integrity of the office of the National Commissioner.
“The President has indicated to the National Commissioner that the issues arising from the High Court judgment are serious. The President has, in terms of Section 9 of the South African Police Services Act of 1995, read with Section 8 of the same Act, 68 of 1995, deemed it appropriate at this stage to institute a board of inquiry into the National Commissioner’s alleged misconduct and fitness to hold the office of National Commissioner of Police,” the statement said.
The Presidency said the Commissioner has made representations with further communication expected between the commissioner and the president.