Links FAQ's
saps banner
Media briefing following the appointment and announcement of the new National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Sehlahle Fannie Masemola

Media briefing following the appointment and announcement of the new National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Sehlahle Fannie Masemola


Honourable Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele
Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Cassel Mathale
National Head of the DPCI, Lt General Lebeya
Deputy National Commissioners
Deputy Head of the DPCI
Provincial Commissioners
Divisional Commissioners
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen

A very good afternoon to everyone!

Thank you Honourable Minister Cele for today’s session.

Allow me Minister, to begin my address this afternoon by extending my sincere appreciation to:

  • The President of the country, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa for entrusting me with this mammoth responsibility of leading the men and women in blue for the next five years.
  • I also want to thank my colleagues in the JCPS Cluster; and all South Africans for the overwhelming messages of support and encouragement I have been receiving since the announcement by the President.
  • Let me also take this opportunity on behalf of the men and women in blue, to thank my predecessor, General Khehla Sitole for his contribution, for his leadership and guidance during his tenure as the National Commissioner. We wish him well in this next chapter of his life.

 Ke a leboga!

Members of the media…

Mine at this hour, is to reiterate the assertions made by the President of our country, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa on my appointment yesterday as the new National Commissioner, and Accounting Officer of the South African Police Service.


During his public announcement, the President emphasised the need to reposition the South African Police Service as a community-centric Service which, through its operational and strategic efforts, will inspire not only public confidence, but also the confidence of the international world.

I indeed assume this ultimate top position and leadership role during a challenging time where public trust and confidence in the police are very low. Therefore, the immediate demand for my priority attention is on: the need to build and strengthen community-police relations and subsequently change the prevailing negative public perception; as well as the need to work on both the morale and the integrity of our members who ultimately, have a constitutional duty to serve and to protect our communities. As clichéd as it sounds, it is true that a happy employee is a productive employee.

This heightens the need to recognise our Communities and the Labour Unions representing our members, as critical stakeholders in the policing value-chain.

Furthermore, there are also safety and security issues of national importance which will definitely be on my list of priorities. These include:

  • Issues of police safety amidst the incessant attacks on, and killing of police officers. We need our communities to work with us and assist us in identifying the perpetrators of this crime that seek to undermine the authority of the State. These criminals live in our communities.
  • The DNA backlog in our Forensic Science Laboratories as well the Central Firearm Registry will also receive priority attention so that we enhance our service offering to especially bot not exclusively, victims of Gender Based Violence and Femicide.
  • The issue of filling of critical vacancies in environments such as the Crime Intelligence and the DPCI, will also enjoy my priority attention.
  • Top of the agenda will also be the advanced and refresher training of members as we embrace international policing standards. This is over and above the entry-level training such as the one that will commence soon for the 12 000 new recruits.
  • Another concern is the issue of damage to critical infrastructure and extortion at construction sites as the President has mentioned during his SONA and many other times. A dedicated capacity has already been established in this regard and we will be dealing decisively with crimes in relation to: critical Infrastructure and illicit mining. We will also intensify our efforts to reduce the prevalence of Cash-In-Transit Heists and other aggravated crimes.

Ladies and Gentlemen…

The President during his address reiterated that attention must be given to the re-establishment of community policing forums. As we continue to engage communities in the Provinces through the ministerial imbizos, we will also be analysing the efficacy of the existing CPF structures in an effort to ensure that they serve the interests of the communities they represent. As we speak, tomorrow we will be visiting the communities in and around Mahikeng in the North West Province to listen to and understand their policing concerns, and to come up with ways to address those concerns.

Members of the media…

It goes without saying that, in order to effectively address any problem, in our instance the high levels of crime across various categories, we must first get our house in order. We must get our ducks in a row.


In order for us to be able to respond effectively to the need for more boots on the ground, today we are witnessing the arrival of the first batch of trainees (about 10 000 of the ultimate 12 000) who since this morning are presenting themselves at different police academies across the country.

Let me use this opportunity to extend our appreciation as the SAPS, to the South African National Defence Force who will be accommodating some of our recruits in the SANDF institutions. This gesture will most certainly take us a long way as government’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, in our strife to build capacity and enable the Cluster to deal decisively with criminality and secure justice for victims.

We see this latest recruitment drive as ground-breaking because for the first time in the history of the SAPS, we will be recruiting more than double the usual threshold of around 5 000. I want to assure the nation that not only have the recruits been subjected to a rigorous selection and screening process, but the training and development programme has also been designed to ensure that the recruits undergo category-appropriate, SSASETA accredited training. Training standards will not be compromised.

On completion of this programme in December, the trained members will be deployed and we will prioritise our Frontline Desks at Stations across the country; the Public Order Police; Highway Patrol; and Specialised Units such as the FCS and the FSL.


In relation to crime, the work of the National and Provincial Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS and ProvJOINTS) continues pending the appointment of my replacement as outgoing chairperson.

I wish to assure the nation that at the level of the JOINTS, there will be no vacuum as the JOINTS has always been chaired by co-chairs from the SAPS, the SANDF and the SSA. It will be business as usual as my co-chairs are more than capable and will continue with the good work in the best interest of stability in the country.

I do at this point wish to call for closer working relations between the Director-Generals of, not only the JCPS cluster, but of all other government departments.

The country is at a point where police and other law enforcement agencies find themselves policing violent service delivery protests more than fighting crime. Many-a-times if not always, the reasons for these protests have nothing to do with the police: for example labour-related protests and demands for municipal services. It is when these protests become violent that police step in to enforce the law. Naturally, protesters then see the police as the enemy, and perceive law enforcement as oppressing their right to protest.

There is no chance that we will be able to win over the hearts and minds of the public if we do not tighten inter-governmental or inter-departmental relations. Departments outside of the JCPS cluster need to come to the party and realise that failure on their part to deliver services, puts strain on the already stretched Security Forces, and projects South Africa as a lawless country amidst these violent service delivery protests.

Ladies and Gentlemen….

Those who know me know that I am not a man of many words.

Having said that, I want to plead that I not be expected to make any commitments at this early stage. Although there is not much time given the dynamics surrounding policing in the country, I want to really settle in and approach this role with the utmost sobriety.

Yes, I do have dreams and wishes of where I want to see the SAPS but unfortunately, no organisation can be run on a dream.

Therefore, I need to sit with my management team, the Board of Commissioners, and first do a thorough analysis of the Department from top as in national, right down to Police Station level. We need to interrogate the relevance and efficacy of our current methods, processes and systems as the world evolves; and ask ourselves whether or not what was developed over 30 years ago would make sense to a 21-year old Constable.

With my appointment coinciding with the start of the 2022/2023 financial year, the SAPS has an opportunity to look at effective ways to enhance the organisation’s crime prevention and combatting capacity, as well as the investigative and detective capacity. This includes us embracing technology and gravitating towards a fully-digital, 4-IR compliant organisation that is technologically able to meet the policing demands of the 21st century.

Just yesterday the HAWKS (DPCI) busted yet another alleged online-scam syndicate and arrested seven suspects in Johannesburg. This arrest came after extensive investigation into fraud conducted by the suspects via e-mail, where a USA based business entity was scammed of 500 000 USD (R8 million) which was then transferred into different RSA banking accounts in April 2020.

We will therefore need to look at intensifying our capacity to combat cyber-crime, as well as strengthening our international relations.

In wrapping up, let me once again reiterate my commitment to ensuring the safety and security of the residents, visitors and investors of South Africa. I look forward to strengthening relations with all sectors of society, including international stakeholders in the fight against crime.

Let me also remind all members of the SAPS and our partnering law enforcement agencies, to continue to execute their mandate within the confines of the law, adhere to the Batho Pele Principles, and remember that whatever we do should be to the benefit of our communities.

I thank you all!