Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

23 July 2014

South Africa: Rooting Out the Rot - Police Minister Nhleko's Sisyphean Task

analysis

Four years later, the stench of crime and corruption left in the wake of convicted police commissioner Jackie Selebi still wafted through the corridors of parliament at the debate on the SAPS budget vote this week.

But spare a thought for our newly minted Police Minister, Nkosinathi Nhleko, who has inherited multiple sins of the past and who is going to need big cojones and some potent pesticides to weed out the rot.

After her surprise appointment as the new police commissioner in 2012, Riyah Phiyega, paraphrased a rather quaint observation by Eleanor Roosevelt that a woman is a bit like a tea bag.

"When you hold a tea bag, you can't actually talk about the strength of the tea bag, until, you put that tea bag in boiling water, then you can see the strength of a tea bag... what the world is giving us today is actually providing us with hot water and indeed we would like to jump in, as tea bags, to just show how strong we are," she told a nonplussed media contingent.

By now, if our police commissioner were indeed a tea bag she would offer a rather strong and bitter...

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