The Democratic Alliance congratulated the acting national police commissioner for suspending crime intelligence boss Lt-Gen Richard Mdluli and standing up to "political interference".
Spokesperson Dianne Kohler-Barnard said Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi was to be congratulated for "standing up to politicians suffering from electionitis by resisting executive interference in the police and re-suspending Richard Mdluli".
"Mkhwanazi allegedly went head-to-head with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa by signing off on Mdluli's suspension letter and ignoring the politicians who allegedly re-instated him. And about time, too," Kohler-Barnard said.
Mdluli's suspension, disclosed on Sunday, was related to allegations emerging from the ongoing court inquest into the murder of Mdluli's former lover's husband Oupa Ramogibe in 1999. He also faced fraud and corruption charges relating to alleged misuse of a crime intelligence fund, the purchase of luxury vehicles and the hiring of family members. He was suspended but both sets of charges were later withdrawn and Mdluli was reinstated as head of crime intelligence in March this year.
Kohler-Barnard said she had been informed that Mkhwanazi had "had Mdluli locked out of any and all SAPS buildings as well as stripping him of all SAPS equipment and keys."
"What should logically result from these actions is a veritable deluge of criminal charges. The DA maintains that Mdluli must have his day in court to answer to the raft of allegations of criminal conduct against him," she said.
African Christian Democratic Party spokesperson Steve Swart said they were concerned about the state of the criminal justice sector given that suspended national police commissioner Bheki Cele now faced a damning report against him.
"The question arises as to why Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, allegedly ensured that Mdluli's previous suspension was lifted, particularly when further allegations relating to the abuse of a R300-million slush fund came to light... this is a cause of great concern," he said.
Kohler-Barnard said if the service was run by "another career politician with no experience in the police, would be beyond disastrous. The SAPS must be run by a career officer who has the strength to run the service as it should be," she said.