General Fannie Masemola: A deeper look at SA's new national police commissioner

General Sehlahle Fannie Masemola takes over from General Khehla Sitole, whose contract of employment was terminated by the president in February.

National Police Commissioner General Sehlale Fannie Masemola. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday named General Sehlahle Fannie Masemola as the new national police commissioner.

Masemola takes over from General Khehla Sitole, whose contract of employment was terminated by the president in February.

The president said that Masemola had an outstanding record in the South African Police Service (SAPS) which included assisting in de-escalating violence in KwaZulu-Natal following the country's first democratic elections in 1994.

At 58, Masemola has many years of experience in the police force. He is a career cop who has worked in a number of positions within the SAPS throughout the years and worked his way through the ranks. One of these positions includes being the head of the police’s VIP protection unit.

According to the president, Masemola played a leading role in the coordination of security for all elections since 1994.

He has also headed up security for many of the country’s major events such as the 2010 Fifa World Cup, as well as United Nations summits and Climate Conferences.

From 2013 to 2016, Masemola served as the Limpopo police commissioner where he reportedly played a significant role in decreasing stock theft in the province.

Masemola has served as the deputy national police commissioner for the country for the past six years after he was appointed in April 2016.

The commissioner's most recent position was as the chairperson of the NatJOINTS on COVID-19, where he aided in coordinating the government's efforts across a number of sectors both internationally and domestically.

President Ramaphosa offered his full support to the commissioner in his address to the nation.

“You have the weight of the nation’s expectations resting on your shoulders, but I am confident you are more than up to this task and responsibility. Tonight, I call on all South Africans to also offer our support to our new National Commissioner as he assumes his duties, because we can only eradicate crime if we work together.”

SAPS also tweeted its support for the new commissioner.