The acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Kgomotso Phahlane has spoken in defense of the appointment of Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma as the new Mpumalanga provincial police commissioner.
The appointment of Mondli Zuma had faced several criticism by the public following the ‘reckless and negligence’ case charged against him in 2013 While he was the provincial commissioner of Gauteng.
Reacting to the public’s notion, Phahlane said as the country still subscribed to the principle of innocence until proven guilty, the public had no right to call their own a criminal. He added that Zuma was cleared of charges of drunken‚ negligent and reckless driving by the courts.
“He has since gone through court processes and at the end, you know that he was not found guilty.
“Then there emerged an issue relating to the loss of a firearm. Before court, he pleaded guilty for the loss of a firearm. What else was he supposed to do?
“The firearm was lost and he reported it as having been lost; they broke into his vehicle and stole it. A fine was imposed, which he paid in December.”
In August 2013, Mondli Zuma was appointed as Gauteng commissioner to replace the departing Lieutenant-General Mzwandile Petros but the appointment was withdrawn few hours later on the base that SAPS was not informed of the impending criminal investigations against him. Mondli Zuma was later acquitted by the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.
Again, in August 2014, Mondli Zuma faced another criminal charge after the loss of his service pistol in August 2014 which he was asked to pay for.
Speaking further in defense of Modli Zuma’s appointment, Phahlane said the criminal cases were declared while he (Mondli Zuma) was applying for the post of provincial commissioner and the panel was satisfied with the way court dealt with the case. “I know there was reference that when he was to be appointed provincial commissioner for Gauteng; he didn’t disclose.” he added.
Meanwhile, Phahlane said Mondli Zuma was not the only one on the appointment list. According to him, new appointments were made as part of the SAPS back to basics and restructuring programme aimed at increasing the number of deputy national commissioners from three to five while reducing the number of divisional commissioners from 15 to 13.