FRIDAY BRIEFING | ‘Captured’ and directionless: Why the police are failing | News24


friday briefing

‘Captured’ and directionless: Why the police are failing 

It’s been a case of who can make the most noise after former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter made some concerning revelations in an interview with’s Annika Larsen last week.

Senior ANC politicians – among them Fikile Mbalula, Pravin Gordhan and even Cyril Ramaphosa – fell over themselves to tell De Ruyter off, saying he must do his “fiduciary and legal duty” and report his corruption allegations to law enforcement. 

Well and good. Except De Ruyter had done his duty.

As a top story published on News24 on Friday reveals, the former CEO personally briefed national police commissioner General Fannie Masemola on allegations of corruption at Eskom allegedly extending to two senior ANC government officials.

In July last year, De Ruyter briefed Gordhan and Ramaphosa’s national security advisor, Sydney Mufamadi, in the presence of one of Gordhan’s advisors at Megawatt Park, Eskom’s head office. 

De Ruyter also made a presentation before the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure.

He also briefed former board chairperson Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.

Investigations into the matter are already under way. It’s still not clear why if De Ruyter had already reported the matter, none of the authorities spoke out. 

During his interview with Larsen, De Ruyter also put the spotlight on the police’s handling of his alleged poisoning, where investigators apparently confused “cyanide” with “sinusitis”. 

This week on Friday Briefing, we take a hard look at the police’s performance, especially in light of the recent crime stats, which paint a dire picture. 

We asked crime experts to tell us where they think things are going wrong, and what needs to change if we are going to see any impact on our policing to ensure a safer country. 

Read the views of the Institute for Security Studies’ Gareth Newham, University of Free State’s Professor Theodore Petrus and Tshwane University of Technology’s Professor Jacob Mofokeng. They all point to a lack of leadership and concerns that politics is becoming too entrenched in our country’s policing.

News24’s assistant editor Sheldon Morais will paint a picture of a police force that, instead of being transparent, seems unable to communicate appropriately. 

Hope you enjoy the read. 


Vanessa Banton 

Opinions editor.

If SAPS has been captured by ‘deep state’, fighting crime may not be a priority

The subtext of André de Ruyter’s allegations revealed the possibility of high-level clandestine political interference in SAPS investigations. Theodore Petrus asks whether there are people other than the legitimate police authorities mandated to direct operations and dictate what and how cases are to be investigated.

Politics must leave the realm of policing

There is a need to conduct an audit to determine whether SAPS members are affiliated with political parties. The SAPS cannot rid itself of the public perception of corrupt practices in its ranks, if it doesn’t carry out effective monitoring and control of its members, writes Jacob Mofokeng. 


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