The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) finds it extremely concerning the levels of infighting that has marred the South African Police Services (SAPS) in the Western Cape over roles and responsibilities in curbing the high crime rates the province is currently confronted with.

This regrettable situation, where certain individual senior officers seek to generate unnecessary competition, impugning their commitment towards serving communities ravaged by gangsterism as opposed to nursing narrow peculiar egos should be urgently attended to.

At face value, it might simply be seen as a purely factional phenomenon, but in reality, it is a drive for a certain grouping to consolidate and amass total power at all costs.

The current challenges of failing to urgently address challenges faced by communities in the province are as a result of a brewing trend of flouting governance processes which had led to the unceremonious demotions of General Jacobs as Intelligence Head, General Veary as acting Head of Detectives, both of which POPCRU challenged and won against their unfair treatment.

3 months ago, Major-General Nzamani, who is the Deputy Provincial Commissioner responsible for Human Resource was dismissed, and the decision was overturned by the SAPS head office, while Major-General Fick also won her arbitration case yesterday. This has had a negative impact on policing in the province since their last recorded meeting was held in 2017. By taking away the powers of this structure, it meant the Provincial Commissioner believed that the management of the SAPS in the province was his sole mandate, devoid of the fact that the mission at hand is bigger than the individual.

These faced challenges are remnants of a build-up that has long been brewing over governance processes in the province.

It was the Provincial Commissioner who established the MORT, and when the President finally established the AGU, the former continued with its operations because they had no control over the latter as it is now being elevated to the national office.

The power struggle currently at play can only serve to further destruct the nobility of plans aimed at bringing about peace and stability in the Western Cape, and needs to be decisively dealt with as it places at risk the very communities our law enforcement agencies are supposed to protect.

POPCRU is against the culture of retracting gains and the erosion of the culture of normal governance processes. We call for unity in labour in the police to face and deal away with these factors which will bring us all back into the level of service that our communities deserve.

We call on Minister Bheki Cele and the National Police Commissioner Sithole to reign in on this matter for a speedy resolution. Issued by POPCRU on 02/07/2019


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