Justice for ALL

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union [POPCRU] is a trade union organisation in South Africa operating within the South African Police Service [SAPS], the Department of Correctional Services [DCS] and the Traffic component. POPCRU represents more than hundred and fifty thousand [150 000] Police, Corrections and Traffic Officials. This gigantic movement was established on the 5th November 1989 at the height of the liberation struggle within the country. Prior to the establishment of POPCRU, institutional racism was entrenched within the Public Service and the three departments where we operate were the implementer of such atrocious practices


The Policing Indaba is premised on the intensification and expansion of work that the government is already undertaking with various sectors of society, business and communities to prevent and combat crime, as encouraged in the National Crime Prevention Strategy, which requires the mobilisation of broader responsibility and a more proactive approach on crime prevention.

The main purpose of the Policing Indaba is to significantly improve the current initiatives on service delivery, with the main focus on improving crime prevention and eradication initiatives within the Criminal Justice Cluster. In order to realise the above-mentioned purpose, the following topics are identified as having a potential in developing integrated interventions of fighting crime.

There will be various speakers allocated to present for each topic at plenary and the presentations are expected to yield useful information for deliberations during commissions.

The proposed key objectives of the upcoming Policing indaba are as follows;

  • Understanding the current measures that are implemented in the fight against crime and the gaps.
  • To determine the root causes of crime in South Africa;
  • To establish how various stakeholders can work collaboratively to prevent and combat crime;
  • To review safety, security and other strategies and distill a coordinated plan of action to significantly reduce and prevent crime in South Africa;
  • To understand the impacts of crime and evaluate current measures that are implemented in the fight against crime;
  • To determine short and long-term practical and sustainable measures that are to be implemented immediately to improve service delivery in as far as safety and security are concerned.
  • To formulate a set of innovative recommendations that can be implemented in the fight against crime
  • Propose solutions that are to improve service delivery at the level of police stations and find improved ways of community involvement in the fight against crime. Strengthening and positioning the Private/Public Partnerships for delivery of tangible crime reduction initiatives in the short to medium term.

Download Declaration here


POPCRU representatives spent a great part of the previous weekend visiting SAPS colleges across the country, where it was open days, meaning trainees could interact with labour structures in better understanding their roles, functions and importance in representing their interests at training and beyond.

The visit to the Pretoria training academy was particularly outstanding, and a huge number of trainees demonstrated from the onset that they feel comfortable and eager to join their union of choice POPCRU, demonstrating the long-held motto that ‘A POPCRU MEMBER IS OUR PRIORITY

We wish to thank all POPCRU volunteers who braved the cold weather across academies and advocated for the union to be at the centre-stage of serving members within the Criminal Justice Cluster


A union at work: POPCRU Policing Indaba seeks to fight crime with research

MEDIA RELEASE A union at work: POPCRU Policing Indaba seeks to fight crime with research MEDIA RELEASE A union at work: POPCRU Policing Indaba seeks to fight crime with research 23 August 2023: The first day of the three-day Policing Indaba hosted by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) kicked off at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg on Wednesday. The conference aims to address the rising issue of crime in South Africa by bringing together participants from different

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POPCRU’s reaction to the latest released crime statistics

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has noted the latest quarterly crime statistics released by the Minister of Police Bheki Cele earlier today. While noting that there are recorded reductions in some crime categories, including the murder rate by 3,1% and sexual offences by 2,1%, there has been an increase of 7%  in the attempted murder category. Most concerning is that the most reported cases of murder come from both Kwa Zulu-Natal’s Inanda and Umlazi police stations, while

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POPCRU troubled by the continued, unabated killings of officers

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) is infuriated by the snail’s pace level at which recurring incidents of police killings continue unabated. We have learned of yet other killings in the Western Cape, where Sergeant Simphiwe Kwepile was shot in Mandela Park, with Sergeant S Mketi killed in Khayelitsha. While both incidents took place last night, we have come to understand that this morning again, Constables Foyle, Mayiya, Maliwa and Mbiza were also attacked outside the Junction Mall

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POPCRU statement on the escape of Thabo Bester from the Mangaung Correctional Centre

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has noted with shock emerging revelations relating to the escape of an inmate, Thabo Bester from the Mangaung Correctional Centre, which is contracted to G4S, a British multinational private security company on the 3rd of May 2022. Following this incident, there has since been an internal investigation which had been closed, wherein the Security Supervisor at the time was dismissed on charges of negligence as opposed to the causal factor behind the

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This communique serves to provide progress on group 2 of 2008 employees at the Department of Correctional Services.

  1. POPCRU and the Department of Correctional Services have been engaged in discussions for purposes of finding a lasting resolution on this matter which has disadvantaged this category of employees for far too long. 
  2. Finally, we want to report that we have reached a common ground on this matter and resolved on the alignment of all disadvantaged members of the group 2 of 2008.
  3. POPCRU see this alignment as a victory for all members that has been deprived their rightful notches.
  4. The commitment have been made by the Department to implement the outstanding notches not later than the
    01st October 2023.
  5. POPCRU wish to thank the affected members for entrusting the Organisation with this task to deal with this matter and yielded these positive outcomes. Further, appreciate the patience that members exercised in allowing the engagements to unfold between POPCRU and the Department.
  6. We further wish to thank the National Office Bearers of POPCRU for their willingness to resolve this matter and their steadfastness in ensuring the full implementation of this long outstanding matter.
  7. POPCRU reiterate that we need this type of National Commissioners like the one of the Department of Correctional Services that are lead by example.
  8. We attach a correspondence from the Department which confirms the finalisation and implementation of the group 2 of 2008 for ease of reference. 
  9. Any further enquiries can be directed to Collective Bargaining Department

Update on the referral of cases to the SSSBC

The below communique serves to provide clarity on the referral of cases to the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC) in light of the withdrawal of accreditation by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU), as a recognised union within the SSSBC still has the right to refer cases to be heard ad the SSSBC, and therefore Provinces are still encouraged to refer matters to the SSSBC for arbitration purposes.

This withdrawal of accreditation does not affect POPCRU as a recognised union and all cases referred by POPCRU will still be scheduled and heard at the SSSBC.

The only cases that may be referred to the CCMA currently whilst waiting for accreditation of the SSSBC are for those members who do not to belong to a recognized Trade Union.

Any further enquiries can be directed to POPCRU’s Collective Bargaining Department

PSCBC Resolution Three(3) of 2023

The intended purpose of this agreement is for PSCBC to monitor and enforce compliance with it’s collective agreements, however the agreement will only be functional upon the Minister of Labour and Employment appointing a designated agent of the PSCBC to monitor and enforce compliance with collective agreements concluded. We shall further update on developements as they unfold. 

Download agreement here

The Revenue Loss Amendment Bill 2023

The public comments for draft revenue loss amendments bill which was closed on the 15th July 2023. The primary aim of the 2012 retirement savings proposals was to encourage household savings and ensure that individuals are not vulnerable to poverty especially in the retirement when they may be unable to work. The bill proposes a two-pot system being which will include a savings pot and a retirement pot. Post implementation each member will contribute 1/3 of their contribution and the remaining 2/3 will go to the retirement pot. The bill further proposes that the savings pot starts with seeding capital of the lesser off R25 000 transferred from the vested pot. The vested pot will be the pre 1st March 2024 balances. The bill further proposes that individuals may withdraw any amount from the savings pot which is not subject to any conditions. All the withdrawals will be subjected to normal tax treatment. Individuals can only make a withdrawal of the minimum amount R2000 in any financial year. No withdrawals can be made from the retirement pot. The withdrawals from the vested pots are subject to current pension rules. Individuals will not be allowed to transfer to the savings pot but can transfer from the savings pot to the retirement pot. POPCRU discourages its members from making withdrawals from the savings pot. Our view since 2012 has been members must be allowed a once-off withdrawal of 30% of their pension savings for them to purchase or build houses. The current proposed two-pot system will result in poverty once the members are retired. We shall further update members when the parliamentary processes are unfolding.

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Question and answer session with the POPCRU President at the Johannesburg Correctional Centre (Sun City) Presidential visit.

POPCRU President interacting with DCS members from the Johannesburg Correctional Centre (Sun City).

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Presidential Visits 2023

The past weeks have been exciting and pivotal in the life cycle of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU), with the Presidential visits program having kicked off in different provinces where a high number of attendances by members organised within the Criminal Justice Cluster (CJC) was observed. These interactions have been headed by the leadership collective under the stewardship of its president, Dr Zizamele Cebekhulu.

Legislatively, these Presidential visits stem from the application of the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC) Agreement 1 of 2015, clause 12 which states that the union is allowed to have its monthly general meetings for four hours on a monthly basis, while organisationally, they stem from the need to ensure continuous dialogue with membership so as to remain abreast with the current discourse.

It is partly on this basis that POPCRU continuously dispatches its most high-ranking officials to directly account to its membership on the work that the union has, is and will be undertaking in better improving the latter’s conditions of work. This, for POPCRU, is aimed at providing another form of mechanism for dialogue between workers within the Criminal Justice Cluster (CJC) and the union, which helps build trust and commitment among the workforce and ensures that problems can be identified and resolved quickly and fairly. This brings significant productivity benefits for the CJC in its entirety.

POPCRU believes that dialogue continues to demonstrate potential to promote democracy and participation in bringing about progress, as well as a tool for maintaining or encouraging peaceful and constructive workplace relations.

According to International Labour Organization (ILO), for social dialogue to take place, the following must exist:

  • Strong, independent workers’ and employers’ organisations with the technical capacity and the access to relevant information to participate in social dialogue;
  • Political will and commitment to engage in social dialogue on the part of all the parties;
  • Respect for the fundamental rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining;
  • Appropriate institutional support.

Therefore, in order to sustain dialogue, the roles of partners must be made clear to all stakeholders to hold each other accountable. Through these engagements, POPCRU continues to have its capacity strengthened in knowledge of the theory of dialogue, in policy analysis, and also policy advocacy to be able to attend and effectively participate in dialogue meetings between employees and employers.

It’s no secret that good leadership is dependent on healthy interchanges with members. Leadership is about relationships, and strong relationships are built on mutual understanding. You can get to that mutual understanding only through conversation and dialogue. For POPCRU, the possibility of building this mutual understanding with individual members has become greater with new communication, collaboration and outreach tools because unions aren’t what they used to be. That does not mean they are weaker, just that their roles have changed in the eyes of workers. In response, union leadership has and continues to shift their focus accordingly.

Though our ceremonies and rituals are important to our organization, members feel more engaged when they participate in these rituals. The main way for members to feel connected to each other is their shared vision of the labour movement. It is for this reason that the union is swiftly becoming more proactive in recognising the changing needs of its membership so they remain engaged.

Building an engaged membership is about doubling down on authentic conversations with union members and finding new ways to connect, and it is for these reasons that the leadership constantly travels the width and breadth of this country to source direct views on the path our union takes.

Bargain Councils


POPCRU President Zizamele Cebekhulu

Not even the apartheid government did this to us!

Legal matters...


The National Police Commissioner formed a Multidisciplinary Task Team to trace and arrest the Crime boss who was together with members of the SAPS were allegedly terrorising the Bedfordview community in Gauteng.

After successfully arresting him and members of HAWKS stationed at Germiston, the National Commissioner announced that all members  involved in the Multidisciplinary Task Team will be promoted one rank up.

 hese 6 members were excluded from promotions, they lodged a collective grievance with the assistance of Mr  Yabo Ntimane from POPCRU Head Office Legal Department from 2015.

The matter was arbitrated under the auspices of SSSBC, on the 9th September 2022 the Arbitration Award was made in favour of the 6 members that the SAPS has committed Unfair Labour Practice by not promoting the members in terms of the deviation in Regulation 45(9) of SAPS Employment Regulations.

Ordered the SAPS to promote each of the members one rank up from 1 October 2015 with back pay and pay progression. It was only implemented in June 2023.


Constable TM Zwane was employed by SAPS from 22 February 2010 stationed at Germiston Trio Task Team, subjected to a disciplinary hearing and dismissed on the 30 March 2022 for allegations which were without any basis/ spurious in nature and no evidence whatsoever. Mr Yabo Ntimane from POPCRU Head Office Legal department assisted him in declaring an Unfair Dismissal dispute in terms of Section 186(1)(a) of the Labour Relations Act with SSSBC

 The matter was arbitrated, on the 30 June 2023 the Commissioner  ruled in our favour as follows:

  • His dismissal was substantively unfair
  • The suspension without pay for 2 months of the applicant is also substantively unfair.
  • The applicant must report for duty on the 24th July 2023 on the same terms and conditions that existed prior to his dismissal dated 30 March 2022.
  • That the SAPS must pay him the lost salary/back pay of 15 months
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