The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) held its normal National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on the 29 August 2015. This was the first NEC after our successful 8th National Congress held in Durban from the 15- 19 June 2015.
The NEC was attended by the National Office-bearers and Provincial Secretaries and Chairpersons.
The meeting, among others, resolved as follows;
- On the POPCRU 8th National Congress
Organised under the theme “Transforming the Criminal Justice Cluster in defence of the working class struggle for the advancement of the National Democratic Revolution”, the NEC made a thorough analysis of the events that unfolded at the 8th National Congress, and satisfied itself that despite minor challenges, the 5-day Congress was well coordinated, displayed the highest levels of maturity and delegates had ample time in deliberating issues at hand, and exultant that the fruitful debates and resolutions pondered on craft a progressive path in how the union would further its goals in the current term of office and beyond. Further, the NEC unanimously agreed that the Congress was one of the best in comparison to the previous Congresses.
Looking into events that extended, the NEC also welcomed the outcomes from the SACP 3rd Special National Congress and the COSATU Special National Congress respectively.
- On the Parliamentary Committee on Police
The NEC is of the view that the separation of powers between the Parliament and the operational bureaucracy has been undermined and the recent uncomfortable developments attributed to the Committee leave little to be desired.
Their summoning of the Provincial Commissioners to come and apologise for their innocent support for the National Commissioner was reckless to say the least. They can only come to account to the Committee as far as matters around operations are concerned. Parliament cannot be entangled into issues of conduct at the operational level merely to push the agenda of getting to the National Commissioner, who has become the sole target in this instance. Parliament’s views in so far as their monitoring role is concerned cannot go to the lowest level of the bureaucracy as we witnessed with the latest inappropriate approach. How is the police management expected to give their all in the fight against crime when they are intimidated at the highest level of Parliament? We maintain that the Provincial Commissioners did nothing wrong by supporting their supervisor. It is our understanding, which we fully support that they were merely responding to an accusation that there was revolt in the SAPS management. It is a myth that they were convened because they ventured into the political sphere because there was nothing political about their statement.
This regrettable situation takes us back to the call made by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that the Commissioner must not be appointed by the President but by a certain Committee in Parliament, thereby seeking to undermine the powers as clearly enacted by the very Constitution the DA claims to uphold and defend. We believe it is incorrect and uncalled for, and that this process has demonstrated that the DA has effectively pushed through its process through the back door. In this regard, if there’s no reconsideration of the Portfolio’s stance, litigation will be the route to follow as an option to resolve this unnecessary impasse.
- On Marikana
We are of the view that the Farlam Commission did not serve the purpose it was assembled for, but turned out to become a political grand-standing stage at the expense of finding real answers and solutions.
As POPCRU, we are monitoring developments and will definitely be defending our members on the matter.
We are of the view the matter is no longer about Marikana, but something else. On the basis of the Board of Inquiry’s allegations against the National Commissioner, we believe they do not have a case regarding the “concealed” meetings. We have not found anything wrong the National Commissioner has done insofar as the Marikana Commission is concerned, and further reiterate our stance that we fully support her.
- On Current Political Developments
The NEC had lengthy debates around the current political discourse, with focus channelled towards the activities the Alliance has been pursuing of late, and therefore suggested, among others, that there is an urgent need for the Alliance Summits in provinces to be monitored and guided by the recently held National Summit as certain provinces have approached the matter differently, which seldom results in creating disunity.
The NEC feels proud of the current condition COSATU is in, and fully supports the decisions taken at the recent Special National Congress in July in Midrand. It expressed satisfaction in that all affiliates had agreed to a halt in certain actions attributed to the pre-SNC era where boycotts of meetings and deviant pronouncements were a regular phenomenon, and is looking forward to defending the unity achieved, with the understanding that unity is not an event, but a process.
In light of the released ANC National General Council (NGC) Discussion Documents, the NEC further reflected on the need to go back to basics in mobilising our communities for an overwhelming victory
We feel the culture and traditions of the ANC must be respected, and for that purpose, we will be engaging our structures leading towards the NGC.
- Upcoming POPCRU Provincial Congresses
The NEC meeting had a discussion about the state of readiness of the upcoming POPCRU Provincial Congresses, and to that extent all measures are in place and Congresses ready to commence in September 2015.
Issued by POPCRU on 31/08/2015