President terminates employment of General Sitole

President Cyril Ramaphosa has, by mutual agreement, terminated the employment contract of the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Khehla Sitole.

In a statement, the Presidency said this is with effect from 31 March 2022.

“President Ramaphosa and General Sitole have agreed that the early termination of the Commissioner’s contract is in the best interests of the country,” said the Presidency.

The time in the lead up to Sitole’s departure will enable a proper hand over of various tasks, including all ongoing investigations, to one of the senior members of the team at the SAPS, who had been assisting Sitole.

“I am grateful to General Sitole for the constructive discussions we have had over the termination of his position as National Commissioner.

“I wish to convey my appreciation to General Sitole for his service to the nation over many years in the SAPS. I wish him the best in his future endeavours,” said President Ramaphosa.

An announcement will be made in due course on filling of the position of the SAPS National Commissioner following Sitole’s departure.

Sitole was appointed to the post in November 2017.

Daily Maverick reports that Sitole vacates the position after a scathing judgment handed down on 13 January 2021 by Judge Norman Davis in the Gauteng High Court. It was found that Sitole and his two deputies, Francinah Vuma and Lebeoana Tsumane, had placed the interests of the governing party, the ANC, ahead of those of the country. This was in relation to the National Commissioner’s three-year attempt to thwart an Ipid investigation into the attempted procurement of a surveillance “grabber” at the inflated price of R45 million prior to the ANC’s elective conference at Nasrec in December 2017.

In November 2017, a month after his appointment by President Jacob Zuma, Sitole found himself at a meeting at the Courtyard Hotel in Pretoria where the R45 million grabber deal was discussed. Sitole cancelled the deal later when he was tipped off by Ipid investigators but it was this meeting that ultimately sealed his demise after a long career in the SAPS. More generally, he faced a turbulent time in office.