Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, left, addresses journalists alongside new national police commissioner General Khehla John Sithole in Pretoria on Thursday. PHOTO: ANA

Pretoria - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday introduced the new national police commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Khehla John Sitole, to the media, describing him as a seasoned professional and a career policeman with over two decades of experience in senior management.

“General Khehla Sitole is a seasoned member of the service who grew through the ranks. He served and obtained practical exposure at all levels of the organisation, connecting from police station to province and national office. He has practical experience through serving in both the organisational support and operations of the organisation,” Mbalula said as he addressed a media briefing in Pretoria.

“General Sitole possess strategic policy framework understanding of the service and has fresh ideas in this regard. He has in the past been involved in the development of numerous policies, legislation and strategies which link the police service to the broader framework of government, the international community and our diverse nation.”

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On Wednesday, President Jacob Zuma announced that he had appointed Sitole as the new national police commissioner – a position which was being held by Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba, albeit in an acting capacity.

Sitole, who was the Divisional Commissioner for Protection and Security Services, was appointed with immediate effect.

Mbalula said with his fresh ideas and innovation, Sitole was clearly fit for the demanding job and would be able to tackle the issue of runaway criminality in South Africa head-on.  

“Criminal manifestation in the various areas of the country depicts the advancement and sophistication of criminal modus operandi. In order to provide a response to this challenge, the organisation needs a high level of innovation and creativity which must lead to the development and execution of relevant strategies and it is our belief that General Sitole is fit and proper for the position,” said Mbalula.

“General [Sitole], we have no time to waste and we look forward to working with you General, and trust you will put our people first and advance the transformation of the service.”
 
For his part, Sitole told journalists at his first media briefing as police chief that he would carry out his duties without fear or favour. He also said plans are afoot to have intensive crime combating operations during the festive season, with the priority of keeping South Africans safe.