EDITORIAL | Unqualified and clueless, police chief must cop it for July riots disaster
The time for making SA’s top cop a political appointment is over, and if that means Khehla Sitole must go, so be it
Gen Khehla Sitole’s performance at the SA Human Rights Commission’s inquest into July’s deadly “failed insurrection” has thrust the spotlight on the already under-fire national police commissioner.
It was concerning that he failed to recall the number of people killed in Phoenix, Durban, during the riots — a troubling memory lapse given the intense, often racially driven violence that took place. It was 36.
He was also at times evasive, and his testimony was in stark contrast to later comments from KwaZulu-Natal SAPS head Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi. While Sitole didn’t appear to take much responsibility for the police’s obvious failings, particularly when it came to crime intelligence, Mkhwanazi this week admitted that although cops couldn’t be blamed for everything, he took “full responsibility” for the loss of life in his province. His is a stance that should be welcomed, and one that his boss should have taken...