Khomotso Phahlane confirms Mondli Zuma’s appointment is 'above board'

Lieutenant General Zuma appeared ready to take on his new post as Mpumalanga’s Saps leader.

Acting SAPS Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has confirmed that Mondli Zuma is Mpumalanga's new police commissioner.

Phahlane says Zuma has been cleared of all allegations against him, including drunk driving, defeating the ends of justice and a recent charge of losing a service pistol under suspicious circumstances.

Phahlane confirmed the appointment during a briefing in Pretoria this afternoon after an Eyewitness News exclusive over the weekend.

A fully uniformed Lieutenant General Zuma attended this afternoon's briefing, ready to take on his new post as Mpumalanga's South African Police Service leader.

Zuma's new role officially began today.

But Phahlane refused to let the media speak to Zuma, saying he will speak on his behalf.

"I'd prefer if he didn't speak to you because he didn't appoint himself, I have made the appointment. I am now sharing with you that it was not a wrong decision."

Phahlane explained that in 2013, when Zuma was appointed Gauteng commissioner, he had not applied for the post and therefore did not have to disclose any criminal charges.

He further states that this time, the senior post in Mpumalanga was advertised, the general applied and disclosed all criminal charges against him and that the board is happy with his explanation.

At the same time, Phahlane says South Africans must understand that the changes he has made within the leadership structures of the Saps are for the benefit of citizens and are there to enhance policing in the country.

Phahlane says he takes the safety of citizens seriously.

"When communities do not feel safe and live in fear, the country's economic development and the people's wellbeing are being affected."

ZUMA'S APPOINTMENT QUESTIONED

Over the weekend, questions were being asked about the appointment Zuma as Mpumalanga's Police Commissioner.

Zuma was facing a number of charges in 2008 but a court withdrew them.

However, he still faces a criminal charge for losing his service firearm under suspicious circumstances in August last year.

Zuma made headlines in August 2013, when he was appointed Gauteng provincial commissioner but was axed just hours later, when details of criminal charges pending against him emerged.

Suspended national commissioner Riah Phiyega received criticism, with opposition parties saying she failed to properly check Zuma's background before appointing him.

Zuma headed the investigation into the president's Nkandla home.

He was charged with drunk driving, escaping from custody and defeating the ends of justice, among other charges, in December 2008 in Pietermaritzburg.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate Court withdrew charges of driving under the influence and defeating the ends of justice in December 2013.