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28 October 2011 at 08:42 - Posted by Anonymous

Thugs won’t win – top cop


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The acting National Commissioner of the South Africa Police Service, General Nhlanhla Sibusiso Mkhwanazi. Photo: Thobile Mathonsi

Acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has vowed to take up and run with the crime-fighting strategies laid down by suspended police commissioner General Bheki Cele, saying he will meet “fire with fire” to ensure criminals do not win.

Mkhwanazi, 38, who holds a national diploma and a BTech in policing, said he was ready to execute the duties given to him by President Jacob Zuma.

His role, he said, was to steer the SAPS ship, with its 200 000 members, in the direction that had been set.

“The fight against crime will not be compromised and we urge our members not to be derailed but (to) reinforce their commitment to deliver on our fundamental mandate of serving and protecting fellow South Africans,” he said.

Explaining that he did not know how he had been chosen for the position, Mkhwanazi said: “It was an instruction, not a discussion. I will adopt Cele’s strategy. I will put more fuel and increase the speed and pace at which it was being implemented.”

Mkhwanazi said the strategy gave clear direction on the fight against crime.

“The course has been set and although I would change nothing, I would make a few adjustments here and there where it appears not to work efficiently.”

He would not allow it to lose direction, Mkhwanazi said.

Speaking at a briefing called to introduce himself, he said he had been an operational member of the SAPS all his working life and his core mandate had been to fight crime.

“I am going to fight fire with fire. Our tough talk on crime will continue.”

Asked to clarify the meaning of “fighting fire with fire”, the acting commissioner said: “It means just that. I challenge you to commit crime for you to experience what I’m talking about.”

Mkhwanazi said he would try to stay away from controversy to avoid going out the same way as Cele and his predecessor, Jackie Selebi, had.

“I will make sure I don’t involve myself in controversy, but if the media decide to paint a bad picture of me you can,” he said, adding that there was nothing he could do about it.

“I am different from Cele, but I definitely know the morale of the members of the police service. I know what to expect and know I can share that with them.”

He would make sure the foundation laid by Cele was reinforced.

“No one can dispute that (he) made a significant impact… in ensuring we squeeze the space of criminals to zero through resources and human capital investment.”

ntando.makhubu@inl.co.za - Pretoria News

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