It was a tough-talking Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi who met with the media yesterday, in what was the acting National Police Commissioner’s first public appearance. Mkhwanazi used the opportunity to assure the public that the fight against crime would continue and to warn criminals that their lives would not get any easier.
“Let me take this opportunity to warn the criminals out there that they will not enjoy any Diwali, Christmas, New Year of even Easter in this country. SAPS members will continue to carry out their duties with excellence and vigour and meet fire with fire in the fight against crime,” he said.
Mkhwanazi said he was up to the challenge of leading SAPS and that the tough stance on crime would continue, the state BuaNews agency adds. “I am not a man of many words. I am not even familiar with the media environment but what I know best is fighting crime,” he told journalists.
Mkhwanazi added that he wanted to reinforce and take forward, the foundation laid by the suspended Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele.”No one can dispute the fact that General Cele made a significant impact and change in ensuring that we squeeze the space for criminals to zero through resources and human capital investment,” he pointed out. Mkhwanazi said his job was to steer the ship to the direction that had been set.
He also had words of encouragement for his fellow police officers. “As management we would like to assure members of the SAPS that the fight against crime will not be compromised. We urge our members not to be derailed but rather to reinforce their commitment in delivering to our fundamental mandate of serving and protecting fellow South Africans.”
Mkhwanazi paid tribute to the men and women in blue who put their lives at risk each time they left home for work. “These heroes and heroines willingly put their lives on the line in an attempt to ensure that ordinary South Africans do not become victim of yet another senseless violent crime. Hence I repeat police will meet fire with fire in the fight against crime,” he added. The new police chief Mkhwanazi also invited the media to stop criticising and instead join the fight against crime.