Good news on two public appointments

Two important new appointments occurred over the last week that you should know about. 

First, Ramaphosa appointed General Fannie Masemola as the new police commissioner. This followed the president effectively axing previous commissioner Khehla Sitole in February: Sitole was caught short during last July’s lootings and he’s been involved in a number of scandals, including facing two criminal charges. 😳

So who’s the new guy on the block? 

Masemola’s career spans 35 years. He has been involved in organising security for all of South Africa’s elections during the democratic era and also played a pivotal role in securing national and international events in our country, including United Nations summits, climate conferences and the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Ramaphosa said when introducing the new commissioner.

He’s a good candidate for the job, but he can’t shoulder all the responsibilities alone, as researchers at the Institute of Security Studies point out:

“People with detailed knowledge and experience in reforming large organisations should be appointed to such a structure. It could play a hugely valuable role in assisting Masemola and a rejuvenated leadership cohort to better understand and implement the changes needed to reform the SAPS and set SA on a new path grounded in the rule of law.” 

Meanwhile, the second appointment comes with pros and cons. We’re used to public positions being filled after some scandal: this time Ramaphosa had to replace Ayanda Dlodlo after she was snapped up for a prestigious global role. The now-former public service and administration minister was appointed executive director on the board of the World Bank in Washington, D.C! Dlodlo, who has served in various ministerial roles since 2017, will now be one of three board members representing the interests of 25 African member states at the World Bank.

Perhaps less happily, given his poor track record (remember his sweaty and bizarre defence of former president Jacob Zuma’s “fire pool”?), employment and labour minister Thulas Nxesi now adds a second job to his plate. He will act in the role of public service and administration minister until Ramaphosa makes a permanent appointment. 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 8 April  2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.