Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange is not going anywhere – for now. The SA Police Union (SAPU) has revealed
Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange is not going anywhere – for now.
The SA Police Union (SAPU) has revealed that following an urgent early morning meeting on Wednesday between De Lange and national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole‚ the decision to allow De Lange to leave the SAPS had been reversed.
De Lange‚ who the SAPS had offered three other positions that she had declined‚ was set to leave her post on Friday after being allowed to take early retirement.
De Lange‚ who was leaving the police under Section 35 of the SAPS Act‚ was set to receive a R5-million golden handshake. Section 35 is used to remove officers from the police when their posts become redundant.
According to the constitution‚ the appointment or removal of a provincial police commissioner has to be done with the approval of a provincial premier and legislature.
Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Friday said she had not been informed of De Lange’s removal.
SAPU said it was set to obtain an urgent High Court interdict to stop De Lange’s removal and golden handshake‚ which it was arguing was unlawful‚ when lawyers for the union received a letter from Sitole’s office on Tuesday night informing them of the meeting between De Lange and the national commissioner on Wednesday.
The planned interdict followed SAPU writing to Sitole on Monday and ordering him to hold off on removing De Lange from her post‚ failing which they would approach the courts to stop him from doing so.
Tuesday’s letter to SAPU‚ which is written by Sitole and which TimesLIVE has seen‚ states: “My office is in the process to arrange a meeting with Lieutenant-General de Lange in respect of her discharge from the SAPS.
As I do not want to foreshadow the outcome of the said meeting‚ I am not in a position to accede to the demand in your letter as per your timeline.”
SAPU president Mpho Kwinika confirmed the union’s lawyers had received the letter late on Tuesday.
“We have learnt from today’s meeting that De Lange is not going anywhere. We are extremely pleased that common sense has prevailed. We were challenging De Lange’s removal under Section 35‚ because the post of provincial police commissioner cannot be made redundant.
“What we were objecting to was that as well as paying De Lange to leave her post through a golden handshake‚ police management would have had to employ another provincial police commissioner.
The result of this would have been effectively to pay two people for one post‚ which is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.”
De Lange‚ when asked about her remaining in her post‚ in a WhatsApp said: “God is good.”
She declined to comment any further when asked about her meeting with Sitole.
Kwinika said the union’s lawyers had written to Sitole on Wednesday and were asking for an announcement to be made on the decision to reverse De Lange’s removal.
“We have given them another deadline. If they don’t meet this deadline‚ we will approach the courts to get their intervention.”
Police spokesman Brigadier Vish Naidoo said: “Whether there was a meeting today‚ this week or last month is immaterial.
“At no stage did Sitole say or ask De Lange to leave the SAPS. The national commissioner has a succession plan‚ and part of that plan includes development‚ multi-skilling and multi-tasking [of staff]. In order to do this there has to be a process of rotation.
“This process has started at deputy national commissioner level and divisional commissioner level. This process can also take place at provincial level. It is a continuous process. He is engaging with all his senior managers‚ including General De Lange.”
He said Sitole had pronounced on the turnaround vision in November 2017‚ “and part of that pronouncement is to move resources from a strategic framework level to a localised policing level”. “Everything that is taking place is part of this process: the rotation and the succession plan.
“We have to fight crime in this country and do something extraordinary to do this [fight crime]. This turnaround vision is a part of that extraordinary process.”