It is extremely alarming that a police general who is second-in-command of Crime Intelligence sat at the same table as an alleged gangster at a gala dinner hosted by the EFF, whose leader, Julius Malema, once again incited people to murder farmers this past the weekend.
The actions of Maj. Gen. Feroz Khan are disgraceful and a slap in the face of all South Africans who are heavily burdened with crime and widespread corruption. It also raises questions about how serious the police force is about combating farm murders.
According to media reports, Khan was a guest at a lavish gala dinner last Thursday in Ekurhuleni to celebrate the EFF’s tenth anniversary. He sat at the same table as the controversial tobacco-giant Adriano Mazzotti.
Khan’s presence probably also reinforces Malema’s apparent idea that he is above the law when it comes to making statements that incite racialism and the murder of farmers.
Shortly after the Johannesburg High Court found that the HRC was wrong in exonerating Malema from violating the law with his statements that white people should not be murdered “at least for now”, Malema reportedly sang the “kill the farmer” song again yesterday in front of a packed FNB Stadium. It demonstrates his sheer contempt for the Court’s ruling.
Khan’s attendance also clearly demonstrates his close ties with the EFF. In addition to the message it sends to all South Africans about crime, it is also contemptuous and callous towards victims of crime.
His fraternising with Mazzotti reinforces suspicions that Crime Intelligence is corrupt and may even be part of crime syndicates.
He is also openly making his political preferences known, which is inappropriate for senior police officials. It could contribute to investigations into the EFF being foiled. The Minister must implement a code of conduct prohibiting such behaviour.
It is, equally, inappropriate and short-sighted of the National Police Spokesperson, Brig. Athlenda Mathe, to condone Khan’s actions by saying that the police service is an apolitical organisation.
The police cannot distance itself from Khan’s actions so easily, particularly seeing as he is the person who is second-in-command of a unit as significant as Crime Intelligence.
A man is known by the company he keeps, so, when your circle of friends includes people allegedly implicated in crime or who incite murder and racialism, it should set the alarm bells ringing.
I will also pose questions about this to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and the National Police Commissioner, Gen. Fannie Masemola, in Parliament. The police must say whether it is happy to be associated with people like Mazzotti and Malema.