Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has reacted to public criticism about what is portrayed as his inactive role as the police Minister to quell the rising cases of crime in South Africa.
Addressing the media on the executive authority interventions at the SAPS in addressing policing challenges, the minister clearly tabled his key roles and responsibilities as the Police Minister and how he has endeavoured to instil an intelligence-led policing approach to crime prevention. in the country.
In his speech, the minister said he was closely involved in the affairs of the SAPS but has in no way taken over the duties of the Police Commissioner.
“The constitution required the minister of police to direct police directives, draft policing policy, oversee, monitor and supervise all members and the organisation and its leadership and performance,” Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said.
Mbalula further made it clear that as the police minister, the country’s constitution demanded that he maintained public order, secure and protect the lives of every citizen by preventing, combating and investigating crimes and at the same time, maintaining law and order in the country.
“As for allegations that the minister should not be receiving intelligence information, I find this beyond silly and lazy journalism, potentially characterised by a passion against the person of Fikile Mbalula,” he said.
This comes amid strong criticism that the minister is doing little or nothing to combat crime in the country and that he prioritizes his twitter handle more than his job in fixing the SAPS.
The DA, in particular, took a swipe at the minister after visiting Boitekong and Phokeng police station, saying the minister needed to redirect his efforts from his Twitter universe and ministerial overreach in operational matters of the National Police Commissioner to adequately training, staffing, resourcing and equipping the SAPS.
But in what seems like a reaction to the DA’s attack, Minister Fikile Mbalula said: “The portfolio committee on police has expressed concern over the instability and crises in top SAPS management. The committee has also made various important inputs and directives in terms of members doing business with the organisation; the misallocation of resources; lack of security vetting of certain senior management service members; the auditor general’s findings; and others. Some of these were also expressed by the joint standing committee.
He said a lot of recent media reports contained what could be characterised as distorted information but that the SAPS Act empowered him as minister to exercise policing powers.
“With all this being said, I as minister of police am not a mere observer but executive authority beyond the development of policy, I am also empowered by the constitution to direct the successful implementation of policy.”
Fikile Mbalula also made it clear that there was no bad blood between himself and acting national commissioner Lesetja Mothiba as it was made to seem in the media and that the speculations that the head of crime intelligence, Major-General King Bhoyi Ngcobo, was now reporting to him directly while Mothiba was brushed aside were not true.
The minister further added that he was concerned that there was a dark force of individuals within the police who were part of a rogue collective that ran a negative campaign, leaked information to the media and spreading misinformation.
He said those people would be dealt with accordingly. Plans were in motion to ensure all members of the police vetted members of the police who were also doing business with the SAPS and that they were exposed.