The Northern Cape Commissioner of Police, Lieutenant-General Risimati Shivuri, did not use the Province’s only police helicopter for personal errands during the ANC’s elective conference in Colesberg, says SAPS. Picture: Danie van der Lith
Kimberley - Reports that Northern Cape Commissioner of Police, Lieutenant-General Risimati Shivuri, used a police helicopter for personal errands during the ANC’s elective conference in Colesberg last weekend, have been denied by the South African Police Service in the Province.

This follows a report in a Sunday newspaper accusing the Province’s top cop of using the only police helicopter in the Northern Cape to pick up a jacket he apparently forgot at the Gariep Dam, 30 kilometres away.

The report also alleged that Shivuri used the helicopter to travel to a fast food outlet about four kilometres away.

This has resulted in calls from the DA for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to look into the matter.

While rubbishing these reports on Sunday, provincial spokesperson for the SAPS, Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba, categorically denied that Shivuri used the helicopter to fetch his jacket, adding that the helicopter had only been used as air support for crime prevention operations.

“Like any other operation, various resources, including the helicopter, were used to ensure that the objectives of the operation were reached as directed by situational threats,” Ramatseba said.

“The helicopter is mainly used in crime prevention operations and in this case, it was not different as the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Risimati Shivuri, was assigned to it in order to reach various places on time and it also gave an advantage to patrolling the area at large."

“Shivuri is a seasoned police officer who worked operations his entire career. He understands the police prescripts governing operations and he has been carrying them out all these years.”

Ramatseba added that the crime prevention operations conducted in Colesberg were successfully executed with the assistance of aerial support and no incidents of crime were reported during the ANC’s conference.

“We wish to point out that the helicopter was never used to collect the provincial commissioner’s jacket, as the commissioner was wearing his uniform, and the helicopter was also never used by the provincial commissioner to have lunch.”

According to the DA’s Melinda Hattingh, these alleged flights would amount to a cost of R6 000 and R1 500 respectively to the taxpayer while further rendering the helicopter out of commission for official police business.

“Now the commissioner is (allegedly) using the helicopter for his own personal benefit,” she said, adding that the DA had also written to the chairperson of the legislature portfolio committee on safety, Gladys Oliphant, requesting her to urgently summon Shivuri to appear before the committee to answer questions regarding his conduct in Colesberg.

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