As part of his state capture project, former president Jacob Zuma typically selected dishonest, corrupt or incompetent people to head South Africa’s security agencies. A good example was the 2009 appointment of Richard Mdluli as leader of crime intelligence in the South African Police Service (SAPS). Mdluli’s tenure was characterised by alleged high-level corruption and plunged the police into disarray. He was allowed to retire in early 2018 and was recently replaced by Lt-General Peter Jacobs. This View on Africa will discuss the challenges Jacobs faces and what he must do to improve this crucial policing function.