Phahlane: I agreed to step down
In its initial statement, the Presidency seemed to give the impression that Mothiba had only been appointed as acting commissioner because Phahlane's acting tenure had come to an end.
JOHANNESBURG - Khomotso Phahlane has congratulated Lieutenant-general Lesetja Mothiba on his appointment as acting National Police Commissioner, describing him as a seasoned and experienced officer who will lead the SAPS with integrity.
In a statement, Phahlane says he had a constructive engagement with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula in which he agreed to step down from his position as acting commissioner with immediate effect.
President Jacob Zuma appointed Mothiba on Thursday.
In its initial statement, the Presidency seemed to give the impression that Mothiba had only been appointed as acting commissioner because Phahlane's acting tenure had come to an end. It made no mention of a suspension or the allegations against Phahlane.
But Police Minister Fikile Mbalula's statement was a far stronger one. He made it clear that Phahlane has been asked to provide reasons why he should not be suspended and that the serious allegations of misconduct against him impact on his fitness to hold office.
Phahlane has been seen as an ally of former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza, who has had a fierce public standoff with Mbalula recently. Phahlane, Ntlemeza and former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli are also considered Zuma allies.
New acting commissioner Mothiba, a career cop, is viewed as a committed policeman untainted by political scandal.