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By Citizen Reporter


Last day in office: National Police Commissioner Sitole denies Ramaphosa fired him

Thursday marks the top cop's last day in office after his contract was terminated last month.

Outgoing National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole says he was not fired from his job by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Sitole on Thursday marked his last day in office after reaching an agreement of mutual termination of contract with Ramaphosa in February.

Sitole and Police Minister Bheki Cele have been at loggerheads over a number of issues, including the South African Police Service’s (Saps) response to the deadly July unrest in 2021.

ALSO READ: Khehla Sitole steps down

In a wide-ranging interview with SABC News, Sitole said unlike previous police commissioners, who had did not complete their term of office like him, he was going to do a handover report.

He said when he was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma in 2017, he never applied or asked to be promoted as the national police commissioner.

“I never applied for a post or for a promotion in the police. I went through anointment processes,” Sitole said.

‘Power of anointment’

Sitole said when he was appointed as the country’s top cop, no one expected him to emerge as the preferred candidate because he was not initially interviewed for the job.

“I was then called after the interviews were conducted to bring my CV, so that they could see if I had the potential.

“Through the power of anointment, I went there and convinced the [interview] panel of my capacity, experience and the wisdom I have about policing. And that’s how I become the national commissioner and I didn’t apply for the post.”

Sitole said no one expected him to be appointed as the police commissioner, and he believes there was a plot to get him fired from his job.

“I came out as a dark horse and people started asking questions.”

Police ‘grabber’ device

The outgoing police commissioner denied that he was involved in the procurement of a R45 million eavesdropping device, known as a “grabber”, ahead of the ANC’s 2017 elective conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg.

He maintained that he took steps to stop the purchase of the controversial device.

Sitole accused former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) boss, Robert McBride, of plotting to get him fired from his job.

He said this was confirmed by a former Ipid investigator in a report.

“That’s what the report says. It’s clearly so said in that report because Mr Robert McBride is the one who called the former investigator and he was heading that particular discussion [on the grabber device].”

Asked what motives would McBride have to push for his dismissal, Sitole claimed it could be because the former Ipid boss wanted his job.

“Seemingly he was among those who were lined up to become the national police commissioner, I’m not sure. But I think I wouldn’t understand deeply the motive, but I know that I came very unexpectedly to become the national commissioner,” he said.

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe

NOW READ: Calls mount for Ramaphosa to fire Bheki Cele following Sitole’s axing

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