The Presidency says National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole has submitted representations in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa issuing him with a notice to suspend.

Ramaphosa’s office says he had written to Sitole on 20 September 2021. This follows a damning ruling by the High Court in Pretoria, ordering Sitole and his deputies Francinah Vuma and Lebeoana Tsumani to hand over classified documents to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

The presiding Judge Norman Davis found that the trio failed in their duties by not co-operating with IPID which was investigating several suspiscious deals within the South African Police Service (SAPS).

“The President wrote to the National Commissioner on 20 September 2021 in connection with allegations of the failure of the Commissioner to assist the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)… The President has indicated to the National Commissioner that the issues arising from the High Court judgment are serious,” Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale said.

Khehla Sitole to face fitness inquiry

The Presidency says the matter warrants an inquiry into General Khehla Sitole’s fitness to hold office being instituted.

“The President has, in terms of Section 9 of the South African Police Services Act of 1995, read with Section 8 of the same Act, 68 of 1995, deemed it appropriate at this stage to institute a board of inquiry into the National Commissioner’s alleged misconduct and fitness to hold the office of National Commissioner of Police”

Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale

Seale says while the Ramaphosa considers these representations, there will be further engagement between the pair.

Background: The documents that Sitole had refused to give to IPID relate to a string of probes, including for the planned procurement of a spying device known as “grabber” for an inflated cost of R45 million. According to IPID, the “purchase” was merely a front to launder funds which would have been used to buy votes during the African National Congress (ANC) elective conference, during which Ramaphosa was going head to head with current Cogta minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zulu for the top leadership post in the party.

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