JOHANNESBURG - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said on Monday acting National Police Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi had done a great deal to restore morale in the South African Police Services (SAPS) by suspending controversial policeman Richard Mdluli.
Mdluli was suspended at the weekend amid allegations of murder, corruption, fraud and nepotism among other charges.
He however maintained he was being targeted in a politically inspired witch hunt.
Senior researcher at the ISS Crime and Justice Programme Johan Burger said morale at the SAPS had taken a knock following the negative publicity around Bheki Cele, Richard Mdluli and Jackie Selebi.
Burger confirmed though that acting Commissioner Mkhwanazi was now rallying a positive sentiment.
"One could refer to this as a polarisation in the police service, but at least this is a rallying of good cops that wish to distance themselves from the bad ones,” Burger told Eyewitness News.
Burger said Mkhwanazi showed good leadership by suspending Mdluli.
Some have however speculated that Mkhwanazi may have cost himself the job of National Commissioner by standing up against his political principles.
Mdluli made headlines again on Monday when his lawyer threatened to investigate the manner in which Mdluli was informed of his suspension.
Advocate Ike Motloung said he planned to look into the legality of the suspension letter.
Police had announced on Sunday that Mdluli was once again being suspended, following an ongoing investigation into allegations against him.
Mdluli's lawyer was informed via email on Saturday evening.
Motloung said he was only made aware of his client’s suspension on Sunday morning and felt that proper processes were not followed.
Police said they could not locate Mdluli himself and as a last resort chose to serve the notice on his lawyer.
Mdluli is also associated with the murder of his former girlfriend's husband.
(Edited by Clare Matthes)