SAPS discontent jeopardises Gauteng safety

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Spokesperson on Community Safety:

The escalating trend of SAPS members embarking on “go-slows”, over perceived poorly addressed concerns is of paramount concern and needs urgent attention.

Today, SAPS members at the Douglasdale Police Station have stopped carrying out their duties as they feel marginalised by higher ranking members whom they report to.

Two weeks ago a similar incident occurred at the Boksburg North Police station. SAPS members called for the suspension of the Station Commander as they had lost faith in his leadership.

As pointed out by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), it is clear that there is a lack of confidence and trust in the police – both internally and externally.

This is confirmed by data released by the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID), who in 2013/14, received 9000 reports of police wrongdoing.

Of the 9000 reported incidents only 83 convictions and 135 disciplinary convictions were secured.

Gauteng Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Lesetjal Mothiba, must ensure that skilled and competent officers are in command.

It is equally important that competent officers are retained, and not shifted to other provinces, as has recently been the case with Major General Phumza Gela’s redeployment to the Free State.

Failure to do so will perpetuate malaise within the SAPS at the detriment of citizens of Gauteng.

I will submit questions to Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, to establish what criteria is being using to assess the competence of officers selected to hold senior positions with the SAPS, and what is being done to address the discontent experienced by officers in stations across the province.