SA national police commissioner to head up Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Organisation
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DURBAN - National Commissioner of the South African Police Service General Khehla John Sitole has been appointed as the chairperson of the Southern African Regional Police Chief’s Cooperation (SARPCCO). Sitole will officially take over the role in August for a period of 12 months. He takes over from Botswana police commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe.
SARPCCO was established in 1995 for police forces to combine resources and expertise in fighting transnational crime across borders in the SADC region.
Since its inception, the body has been able to establish a comprehensive approach in terms of regional policing through cooperative engagement of member countries such as joint cross-border operations, joint training, harmonisation of legislation, and the sharing of good practices to contribute to the grand economic strategy for each country.
The member countries include South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Mauritius, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
The appointment was marked by a ceremonial handing over of the Sword of Honour during the 26th General Meeting of SARPCCO which was held through video conferencing.
SA will be assuming chairpersonship for the seventh time, having done so in 1997, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015.
In his acceptance speech, General Sitole expressed his gratitude to the outgoing Chairperson for his resolve in leading the organisation during a time of uncertainty.
“The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic which unfortunately has continued to claim the lives of many of our citizens including gallant men and women of our Police Services/Forces, has led us to change the way we conduct our policing business,” Sitole noted.
He said given this prevailing situation, Commissioner Makgophe, was dynamic enough to adapt to the new philosophy of policing, responsive to the current terrain now referred to as the new normal, where almost every regional engagement had to be done virtually.
Sitole said this was evident from the Tenure of Office Report that the outgoing chairperson just shared with the members during a previous meet.
Sitole also acknowledged the role played by other member countries for ensuring stability and cooperation on safety and security related matters within the region.
The challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic to policing were also brought to the fore and discussed by Sitole.
General Sitole made a commitment to ensure greater cooperation within the region and also outlined his plans to devise new ways of combating International Organised Crime Syndicates as well as Cross Border Crimes through the introduction of the Policing Nomics Concept : a study of policing methodologies and practice through the lens of modern economics, innovation and creativity.