POPCRU condemns the Hollywood-styled type of arrests in the Free State province

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) finds it extremely unnecessary and worrying the populist manner in which the Hawks in the Free State conducted its operation yesterday, which resulted in the arrest of 19 traffic officers and admin clerks in Bethlehem, Free State.

These said officers were gathered under the pretext that they were to attend an Anti-Corruption workshop called by the MEC of

Police, Roads and Transport, Mr Mashinini, when they were pounced on by the Hawks for alleged corrupt activities.

POPCRU stands firm against any acts of corruption, and reiterates that those who are involved in corrupt activities must he held accountable.

However, the manner in which these arrests were conducted leaves little to be desired, and should be condemned.

The Hollywood-styled type of arrest conducted by the Hawks is populist, characteristic of how the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), also known as the Scorpions used to operate; chasing after headlines to give an impression that they are hard at work, while in reality pursuing other nefarious interests.

In most of their publicly covered arrests, they have not come back to speak of how many have been successfully prosecuted, and this has left many tarnished images.

The work of arresting suspects is a day-to-day functions of officers, and should not be dramatised.

We condemn this dramatisation, and would not want to see the resuscitation of behavioural characteristic with those of yesteryear Scorpions.  

Our state security institutions must never be allowed to be used by politicians who are preoccupied with their upward mobility, seeking popularity through their use of the platforms they occupy to create an impression they are hard at work.

Issued by POPCRU on 12/03/2020