Cape Town - The appointment of the Western Cape’s first female police commissioner’s has been roundly welcomed.
Yolisa Matakata, a 34-year police veteran, was announced as the province’s new permanent head of the SAPS, succeeding Khombinkosi Jula who took over the SAPS’ reins in KwaZulu-Natal.
In a rare sign of unanimity, Premier Alan Winde, his Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, the Western Cape ANC and Patricia de Lille’s Good Party welcomed Matakata’s appointment.
Matakata was appointed to the rank of lieutenant-general on December 1, 2015, as the acting national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks - DPCI) and on April 1, 2017, as the deputy national head of the DPCI.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said Matakata had vast experience in the crime intelligence and serious organised crime environment.
“General Matakata is in possession of a senior certificate. The member is now transferred from the DPCI and back into the service to serve the people of the Western Cape,” Cele said.
He said he was confident that the changes and appointments made would add tremendous value to the efforts to preventing and combating crime nationally, and would come into effect from January 2.
Matakata, served 15 years in the crime intelligence environment in the Western Cape of which she served five years as the provincial head of crime intelligence.
She also served as a deputy provincial commissioner responsible for detective services and thereafter in the Hawks.
Winde welcomed Matakata’s appointment. “The appointment will bring steadfast leadership and stability to policing in the Western Cape.
“We look forward to working with Lieutenant-General Matakata on improving safety in our province, and on our provincial safety plan, and trust that the national government will give her the support required to effectively lead the police in our province,” Winde said.
He said the Western Cape cabinet was consulted as part of the appointment process, and welcomed the outcome.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, said he was looking forward to working with Matakata “in a productive and amicable manner”.
“It is my hope that we will work closely together to improve safety in the province, particularly through departmental initiatives such as the community policing forums and neighbourhood watches,” Fritz said.
The ANC’s provincial interim committee co-ordinator Ronalda Nalumango also gave her party’s support to the new provincial police commissioner. “General Matakata is no stranger to our province. We are confident that she will fearlessly lead our men and women in blue in turning our province around,” said Nulamango .
Brett Herron, Good party secretary-general, said Matakata demonstrated fearless leadership during her stint as acting head of the Hawks.
During her tenure at the Hawks, Herron said she tackled some of the corruption and state capture that had been in the public domain for a very long time. “The Western Cape is in need of fearless police leadership as our violent crime levels far exceed the national average with the City of Cape Town regarded as a ‘murder capital of the world’,” Herron said.
Community policing activist Collen Arendse questioned coverage of Matakata’s appointment. “Why is so much attention being given to the fake drivel being peddled from some media houses and anti-ANC political parties against certain candidates? Or is there some other sinister motive that we are not aware of that excludes the obvious and worthy candidate from being promoted to that post?”