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SA to axe generals in police reform

Johannesburg - The South African government is expected to remove nearly one-quarter of its police generals and to appoint the first blacks to top posts in an effort to build confidence in the force, writes Chris McGreal.

About a dozen generals will be forced into early retirement because they have failed to adapt to the political realities of post-apartheid South Africa. Among those expected to go are senior officers who publicly express hostility toward the African National Congress and who continue to talk of the government's opponents as enemies. Three black generals, the first to reach that rank, are expected to be appointed when the reform is announced this week.

The Law and Order Ministry wants to tackle the force's alienation from blacks. Despite politicians' attempts to portray the police as impartial, the force remains plagued by allegations of complicity in township violence and hit squads.