Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
The best of South African literature
A looming reshuffle of the police top structure has left SAPS top brass uncertain of their future, with some considering early retirement.
National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega has apparently given the go-ahead to an examination of the organisational structure, and sources in the police say she could trim her seven deputies down to two.
Three sources at the national police headquarters in Pretoria say a reshuffle is a certainty. They cannot be named because they are not authorised to speak to the media.
The officers said there was a number of redundant positions.
“Divisions will be merged in order to reduce the number of divisional commissioners.
“Deputy national police commissioners are also going to be trimmed,” one source said.
The Sunday Independent understands that the process of reducing the number of generals at head office was already in the pipeline before Phiyega came in.
Even under former national commissioner Bheki Cele, some at head office viewed a number of appointments as pointless.
“The chief operations officer position held by Christine Mgwenya is more likely to be collapsed, because it has no purpose. It is a repetition of posts that already fall under some divisional commissioners,” another official said.
Another division likely to be moved is the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations known as the Hawks – in order to make it more independent from the SAPS, sources said.
In March last year a Constitutional Court judgment found that the Hawks were not insulated from political interference, nor sufficiently independent to fight corruption effectively.
Police spokeswoman Nonkululeko Mbatha said yesterday there was an investigation into the organisational structure of the SAPS in conjunction with the Department of Public Service and Administration.
“The process is still under way,” Mbatha said.
Mbatha said the investigation started long before Phiyega’s appointment.
When suspended head of crime intelligence Richard Mdluli made his first comeback in March, his division was merged with the VIP Protection Services.
The Sunday Independent understands that some generals are unhappy about the planned reshuffle, and have considered taking early retirement packages.
However, the challenge was that they “had a lot to lose” as none of the deputies has been at a lieutenant general level for five years, except the head of human resources, Magda Stander, who is due to retire in September.
A senior security expert once said the police structure was top-heavy, and trimming it down and placing major-generals at cluster levels and police stations could help beef up the fight against crime.
Meanwhile, there is unhappiness in Gauteng as provincial commissioner Mzwandile Petros this week booted three divisional heads from their offices at the provincial headquarters in Braamfontein.
Provincial Hawks head Shadrack Sibiya, provincial visible policing head Phumzo Gela and Tebello Mosikili of the detective services – who are all major generals – were last week told to pack up their things and find alternative office space. “Petros told them he wanted all operational commanders out of the provincial head office and that they must find places somewhere else,” a source at Gauteng HQ said.
Provincial police have confirmed the order from Petros, but say there is nothing sinister about it.
Spokeswoman Colonel Noxolo Kweza said when the building was procured, there were only three deputies, but now the number had gone up to six.