Newly appointed national crime intelligence boss Major General Peter Jacobs is the right man for the job despite doubts raised about his suitability, said the police on Friday.
Police Minister Bheki Cele, who has been in the job since late February, announced Jacobs’s appointment on Thursday.
The same day, Western Cape crime intelligence head Major General Mzwandile Tiyo alleged in reports that he had been briefed to withdraw an internal complaint he had laid against Jacobs.
Tiyo replaced Jacobs two years ago when the latter was demoted, but later reinstated via labour court proceedings.
Jacobs and Jeremy Vearey, head of the Western Cape police’s anti-gang unit, were demoted from top posts at the same time. They took to the labour court and won.
During court proceedings, it was revealed that Tiyo did not have a matric certificate and a security clearance for the position. He also faced a pending investigation for driving under the influence.
Tiyo subsequently laid complaints against Jacobs after his re-appointment and this week said he questioned why he was told to withdraw these.
Jacobs declined to speak to Weekend Argus on Friday, stating that protocol dictated the media raised questions with the police’s spokespersons.
Police spokesperson Vishnu Naidu said Jacobs’s “appointment was as a result of proper due processes being followed”.
“The post was advertised. Multiple people applied. There was a proper process of interviews and consultations with all relevant people. As a result he was appointed,” said Naidu.
“He met the criteria that was expected of him. He was the preferred candidate and he was appointed. He has experience in various aspects of policing.”
Apart from decades of police experience, Jacobs is a former member of the ANC’s armed wing uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK). He had carried out a number of operations against the apartheid police.
Jacobs was among MK operatives at a wreath-laying ceremony two years ago at the house where anti-apartheid activist Ashley Kriel died after apartheid police shot him.
Former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown and Vearey, both former MK members, along with others were at the house in Athlone to pay tribute to Kriel.
Jacobs was arrested on terrorism charges during the apartheid years and was detained at Pollsmoor Prison in 1987. He was also the national head for airport and seaports: border police.