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Mondli Zuma’s appointment and subsequent withdrawal highlights the need for an overhaul of the decision-making process, says Marius Redelinghuys.
Pretoria - The recent appointment and subsequent withdrawal of Mondli Zuma as Gauteng police commissioner highlights the need for an overhaul of the decision-making process.
The national police commissioner, in terms of Section 207(3) of the constitution, appointed Zuma this weekend, but quickly withdrew it after the DA’s Kate Lorimer questioned criminal charges against him, including alleged drunk driving and defeating the ends of justice.
This very section of the constitution also demands that the Gauteng premier agree with the appointment, and allows for the national police minister to mediate if there is a disagreement. The premier’s role in the appointment is still unclear. This, effectively, makes the appointment the decision of two, at most three, people.
With the provincial police commissioner being constitutionally accountable to the legislature and its community safety portfolio committee, it makes sense that this committee should also be involved in the appointment process.
One such (and very simple) option is to require that the concurrence of the provincial executive must take place after consultation with the provincial legislature and the committee responsible for policing.
The process must allow for wide and public consultation, proper background checks and scrutiny of candidates – to prevent backroom negotiations and political pandering.
The appointment of the provincial top cop impacts on the safety and security of the people of Gauteng, and as such must be a more open, transparent, accountable and consultative process.
* Marius Redelinghuys is the DA communications director in the Gauteng Legislature. He writes in his personal capacity.
** The views expressed here are not necssarily those of Independent Newspapers.