NEW ROLE: Lennit Max is the new special adviser to the police minister.
Cape Town - Police Minister Bheki Cele has been warned that his new special adviser Lennit Max comes with political baggage marred by several scandals. Johan Burger, senior crime researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, says Max may have the right experience but his chequered past will always cast doubts on his work.

“He is a good police officer and has serious credentials within the police. For someone to hold high office for a long period takes some doing.

“It shows he has the practical skills to do the job and he most definitely has the right qualification,” Burger said.

“But he has had several scandals and he left the service in a dramatic fashion.

“He also had battles with people like Zelda Holtzman (former top cop) and others that were always in the public. Cele should take this into account.

“(Max) is a good police officer and will be able to advise on several issues, which is needed now, but he (Cele) could have appointed someone less controversial.”

Max, however is determined to bring about change, using his new position.

“I have spent most of my adult life in the police services, fighting crime and building a police service that puts our communities’ needs first, especially the poor and the vulnerable in society,” he said.

Meanwhile, ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said Max’s appointment affirmed the seriousness of Cele’s interventions to bring the right expertise in key departments that have a direct bearing on the quality of life of all people, especially the poor. Jacobs also took the opportunity to slam the DA leadership.

“The statement by Lennit Max affirms our long-held belief that the DA has little to offer in solving crime, but spends more time, effort and resources politicising crime in the province, than actually solving it.

“If we look at the DA’s track record on crime in the Western Cape over the past decade, since it assumed government and the premiership under Zille, all we have witnessed is less government involvement in the fight against crime. The DA has sung the song of policing as a national competency and that as a provincial government they can’t do anything to prevent crime. Zille and her cabinet believe their sole mandate in the fight against crime is oversight agents, nothing more,” he said.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said he was not worried about Max’s move to Cele’s office.

“That is for Mr Max to deal with. We are worried about rampant crime and want to work together to address the issues that communities have raised,” Maimane said.

@JasonFelix

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Cape Argus