Western Cape police commissioner Khombinkosi Jula has reportedly been given until July 15 to vacate his position after he 'failed to bring down crime levels. Picture: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - Western Cape police commissioner Khombinkosi Jula has reportedly been given until July 15 to vacate his position and has been ordered to resume duty in KwaZulu-Natal.

High-ranking sources within the provincial police said Jula, who is currently on leave, will on his return empty his office.

According to them this move was based on the police commissioner’s apparent failure to bring down the level of crime in the province.

“Crime, and especially gang-related violence, has decreased in the province since the inception of the Anti-Gang Unit in November 2018. In March last year a detailed plan that included resources, logistics and manpower needed was forwarded to the provincial commissioner for the establishment of AGU base units in hotspot areas like Avian Park in Worcester, Bonteheuwel, Lavender Hill, Khayelitsha and Nyanga, branded as the murder capital of the country.

“All the commissioner had to do was to sign it off so that it could be referred to the national police commissioner. 

“This was eventually signed off only last week by the national police commissioner, General Khehla Sithole,” concerned senior police members claimed.

Jula is at the centre of the infighting between senior staff of the police services in the province. He is accused of appointing former colleagues from KZN to positions in the province, overlooking capable local personnel, and running a parallel police unit called the Major Operations Reactions Team (Mort) alongside that of the Anti-Gang Unit, headed by KZN’s Mpumelelo Manci and his wife Zingisa Manci.

Divisions within SAPS and calls for Jula’s head were also highlighted in a recent report compiled by Solidarity, wherein it was claimed police stations could not operate to their full capacity because their members had been absorbed into other operations.

One of the operations singled out by Solidarity spokesperson Ronel Stander was that of the major reaction team (Mort) which works only from Thursday to Sunday between 4pm and 2am.

Activist Colin Arendse also raised concerns about divisions within the SAPS. “If an AGU base was established in gang-ravaged areas the escalating gang violence would have been addressed. A week ago, a 34-year-old constable was wounded during a pursuit of suspects at Fawley Court, Lavender Hill and later succumbed to his injuries. A  base of the AGU established in Lavender Hill could have possibly averted this tragedy and addressed the scourge of gang violence in the area. 

“The same can be said about the gang violence that is spiralling out of control in Bonteheuwel. We need a decisive change in the top structure of the SAPS with people that are in tune with the gang nature of this province,” Arendse said.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has also come under pressure from various community policing forums and was given 24 hours to stabilise the escalating crime rate in gang-hit areas and place the hotspots under lockdown. A call was also made by community activist Lucinda Evans to place the province under administration.

Vishnu Naidoo, spokesperson for national commissioner Khehla Sitola, declined to comment on Jula’s future.

“If there are any changes to be made in the SAPS top management, we will make an announcement,” he said.

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