General Khehla Sitole appointed new national police commissioner

In a short statement, Jacob Zuma says Sithole 'brings a wealth of operational as well as management experience' to the ministry.

President Jacob Zuma with new SAPS National Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole. Picture: Picture GCIS

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma has appointed General Khehla John Sitole as the new SAPS National Commissioner.

Sitole was the protection and security services divisional commissioner and will replace the acting commissioner Lesetja Mothiba with immediate effect.

The police have been without a permanent national commissioner since Riah Phiyega was suspended in October 2015.

General Sitole is a career cop, having joined the police in 1986.

He steadily worked his way through the ranks to become appointed as the Free State provincial commissioner in 2011 and then deputy national commissioner two years later.

Sitole was among those tipped to be the acting commissioner when Phiyega was suspended.

Reports back in 2015 identified the general as being a Phiyega loyalist and having fallen foul of former acting national commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane, who was reportedly purging the top ranks.

President Zuma has wished him well in the fight against crime, saying his extensive experience will serve him well.

The Presidency’s Bongani Ngqulunga said: “The president has also said that General Sitole’s extensive experience in the police will assist him to execute this critical task of making South Africans and everyone in the country to feel safe.”