Cape Town - National police commissioner Khehla Sithole confirmed he has been “talking to (Western Cape) provincial police commissioner Khombinkosi Jula about the prospect of taking up the position of commissioner in KwaZulu-Natal”, but denied Jula has been ordered to vacate his post.
“I have consulted with Lieutenant-General Jula about the prospect of him taking up the position of provincial commissioner of KwaZulu-Natal.
“I have approached General Jula about this deployment because firstly, the post of provincial commissioner (in KwaZulu-Natal) remains vacant and secondly, General Jula is from the province of KwaZulu-Natal, making him experienced to police KwaZulu-Natal.
“This consultation process has not yet been concluded, hence General Jula remains the provincial commissioner of the Western Cape.
“I will make an official announcement about any movement within the top management of SAPS, as I have done since my appointment as the national commissioner on November 22, 2017,” Sithole said.
Meanwhile, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) slammed infighting among top police officers in the Western Cape, and called on Police Minister Bheki Cele and Sithole to find a speedy resolution to the conflict.
Popcru’s call comes in the wake of serious allegations made by top officers and the trade union Solidarity against Jula, whom they claimed removed most of the generals in service in the Western Cape and replaced them with officers from KwaZulu- Natal.
A report by Solidarity that was sent to premier Alan Winde further states that Jula established the Major Offences Reaction Team (Mort), which operates in parallel with the Anti-Gang Unit (AGU).
The leader of the AGU, Major-General Andre Lincoln, in a letter dated June 13, asked Jula to remove three officers who Jula had placed at the AGU, Brigadier Khumalo, Colonel Clark and Colonel Ngubane, “with immediate effect”.
Lincoln said that an operation not sanctioned by himself and carried out by Ngubane led to six members of the unit being shot at in a botched tracing operation last month.
Infighting among police officers reached boiling point at the weekend when senior officers openly expressed their anger and said Jula - presently on leave in KwaZulu-Natal - would vacate his position once he returned to his office on July 15.
“The current challenges of failing to urgently address challenges faced by communities in the province are as a result of a brewing trend of flouting governance processes, which led to the unceremonious demotion of General Peter Jacobs as head of intelligence, and General Jeremy Vearey as acting head of detectives, both of which Popcru challenged and won cases against their unfair treatment,” Popcru said.
“It was the provincial commissioner who established Mort and when the president... established the AGU, the former continued with its operations because they had no control over the latter, and it (the dispute) is now being elevated to the national office.”