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Speaker’s Notes: General Sitole welcoming of the new Minister of Police

Gauteng, 9 March 2018

Programme Director
The Minister of Police, Mr Cele
The Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Mkongi
Deputy National Commissioners of the SAPS
Divisional, Regional and Provincial Commissioners
SAPS senior management
All SAPS members and personnel
Labour union representatives
Members of the media
Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a distinct honour for me to welcome every one present at the welcoming parade for our new Minister of Police, Minister Bheki Cele.

On behalf of the South African Police Service management, all SAPS members and personnel, allow me to take this opportunity to welcome Minister Cele back into our midst and to congratulate him on his appointment as leader of our ministry. Our Minister is no stranger to the policing environment. He donned the blue uniform after being a member of the Provincial Portfolio Committee, as well as MEC for Community Safety and Liaison, and therefore understands our environment. We were also honoured to serve under his leadership as the National Commissioner of the SAPS from 2009 to 2011.

To our Deputy Minister, Mr Mkongi, thank you for gracing this ceremony with your presence and for your continued support and guidance.

Allow me to thank the former Minister, Mr Fikile Mbalula, for his leadership and to wish him all the best going forward – we truly appreciate his support.

The retired criminologist and motivational speaker, Byron Pulsifer once said and I quote: “Part of the process of beginning anew or changing direction, is to know where you want to go. I know this sounds simplistic and easy, but this is one of the most difficult of choices to make with clarity.”  Indeed, starting anew often poses challenges, however facing those challenges head-on, in unity, will determine the successful outcome and we know that starting afresh is also accompanied by renewed vigour and hope.

Today marks a new chapter in the history of the SAPS and I embrace the distinct privilege to be part of this significant occasion as we forge ahead with a new path to the future and in the fight against crime. The morale of the SAPS has been boosted by the appointment of Minister Cele as we are familiar with the energy with which he executes his tasks and have experienced the passion he has for policing. It is a contagious energy which urges one to go beyond the call of duty without hesitation.  As he has worn the uniform, he intimately understands the challenges ahead and how best to face them. 

Ladies and gentlemen, to paraphrase our newly elected President, His Excellency Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, the new dawn is upon us. We are obligated to embrace the call for a new partnership to build a desired nation and country, in which all may be free, secure and equal. Chosen men and women in our country have to give expression and meaning to the words of the President, they have been entrusted with the mammoth task of breathing life into the expression of this new dawn, and one of those men is indeed our new Minister of Police.

Minister Cele, I have been pronouncing on the SAPS’s Turn-around Vision since the day of my appointment. As we welcome you back to the SAPS family, Minister, we look forward to your dissecting, devising and interjecting strategic leadership and policies which will enable us to move forward in an effective and efficient manner. Having worked under your command previously, I know that you will embrace your new role with relentless eagerness.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are privileged to welcome a remarkable individual who has been in the forefront of fighting crime, and has vast experience such as implementing complex strategic and operational tactics that saw us take meaningful and progressive strides in the fight against crime during his tenure. It was his distinct leadership that led to numerous successes. He will lead us into a new dawn aware of the Criminal Justice System dynamics and how we can improve the SAPS in all spheres.

Minister, on behalf of the SAPS, grant me this opportunity to pledge our full cooperation, commitment and support to you on all levels and may I assure you of our contentment to serve under your leadership once again. We are certain that we will, under your guidance, through heightened integrated measures between the SAPS and the Ministry of Police, build a safer and secure South Africa for all.

It is my privilege to now invite the Minister of Police to inspect the parade.

Thank you.