‘Ructions within police service leave cops confused and leaderless’

Opposition MPs have been responding to the Police Minister’s budget vote speech in Parliament.

FILE: The Democratic Alliance’s Dianne Kohler Barnard. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) say ructions within the police service have left officers 'confused and leaderless' while scandals test the public's trust in the service.

They've been responding to Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko's budget vote speech in Parliament this morning.

Hawks boss Anwa Dramat's suspension and eventual resignation, the controversy surrounding suspended Crime Intelligence Head Richard Mdluli; and the criminal charges against Western Cape top cop Arno Lamoer have all cast dark shadows over the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Diane Kohler Barnard says to say the morale of police officers is at rock bottom would be an understatement.

"Sadly, we have confused police whose bosses are hired by a compromised president to protect him at all costs."

IFP MP Albert Mncwango says there is a leadership crisis in the service.

"As generals are too busy taking time out of work, either being on suspension, or going to court instead of combatting crime."

Responding to debate, Nhleko called for measured criticism.

He said he had a problem with MPs questioning the integrity of professionals in the police service.