This seeming crisis in leadership undermines otherwise hardworking personnel within the ranks of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in terms of adhering to their constitutional obligations to ensure the safety and security of South Africans.  Other research suggests, as a result of poor leadership, low morale, which in turn impacts the ability of SAPS to discharge its constitutional obligations. Given the nation’s unrelentingly high crime rates, there is an urgent need for firm, decisive leadership based on integrity and respect for the Constitution.

The SAPS Act is inadequate in ensuring that only the best people are selected for leadership of the SAPS, as it does not provide clear criteria with regard to the appointment of a National Commissioner. It is perhaps the opportune moment for an amendment to the SAPS Act to ensure that qualified persons of integrity lead the organisation.  

By Ms Phephelaphi Dube, Director: Centre for Constitutional Rights