President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed Masemola’s appointment a month after Khehla Sitole’s stint as South Africa’s top officer came to an end by mutual consent.
Masemola was introduced by Ramaphosa as a veteran police officer with a lot of experience.
He praised the 58-year-“excellent old’s record of achievements” across the country, particularly his role in the de-escalation of violence in KZN following the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.
Masemola was the provincial police commissioner of Limpopo until 2013, when he was promoted to the position of Deputy National Commissioner for Policing.
According to Ramaphosa, Masemola most recently served as the Chairperson of the NATJOINTS on COVID-19, which assisted the government in coordinating its security operations across many sectors.
Ian Cameron, the Action Society’s director of community safety, feels Sitole might have been replaced by far superior internal candidates. He singled out police commissioners Elias Mawela and Lucky Mkwanazi from Gauteng and KZN, respectively.
“In Action Society’s opinion, Mkwanazi would have been the best candidate to lead the way. He is still young, was a special task force member and has an excellent track record of strong leadership in the South African Police.
“Masemola does not have a track record of solid leadership. In fact, members on the ground do not like him and say he is just waiting around until he can retire in a year or two. He is not only a Cele-man but also a Zuma-man, and now he is a Ramaphosa-man – thus the ANC’s man. So the ANC is trying to cover as many lootable bases as possible before 2024,” said Cameron.