The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) welcomes the decision taken by the Kwa Zulu-Natal High Court to order upliftment of the unlawful suspension of the Provincial Police Commissioner, Mmamonnye Ngobeni, by the acting National commissioner without following due processes.
She was suspended on the basis of allegedly having an improper relationship with a politically connected businessman.
The effect of the Judgment is that there must have been a resolution by the Provincial Executive Council indicating they have lost confidence in the Provincial Police Commissioner. The relevant MEC would then communicate the resolution to the Minister of Police who must then instruct the National Police Commissioner to establish a board of inquiry.
In essence, the acting National Commissioner, Lt General Phahlane, did not have the authority to institute the fitness board against the Provincial Police Commissioner without a resolution by the Provincial Executive Council as envisaged by Section 8(2) (c) of the SAPS Act.
The acting National Police Commissioner surpassed his powers, and in return flouted processes, something that has been common under his tenure, as was the case when unilateral decisions were being taken about policing outside the prescripts of the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council.
The abuse of authority and lack of following proper procedures must come to an end. The South African Police Services (SAPS) management must comply with these regulations as they can’t flout their own processes.
We lastly appeal to the courts to apply consistency on similar matters where junior members face such disciplinary measures without proper processes being adhered to by the management.
Issued by POPCRU on 11/08/2016