Much has been in the news recently regarding the protest action at the Douglasdale Police station in January this year.
Allegations of racism made against top management and grievances allegedly not being addressed were cited as the reason for the illegal protest action on the part of many Douglasdale SAPS members.
Over the past 2 weeks, meetings have been held at both Douglasdale and Randburg Police Stations to communicate the details and outcome of the incident, and how it will affect the communities involved.
The allegations of racism were found to have no basis and subsequent to a meeting between station management and the complainants, criminal charges of intimidation were laid against the complainants.
Approximately 80 members at Douglasdale were then issued with dismissal notices.
These dismissal notices were, after an appeal in terms of Section 41 of the SAPS Act to the Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko, withdrawn by him and the members were issued with final written warnings (which will only be on their record for 6 months) and all were transferred out to other police stations.
I find it unbelievable that the Police Minister, although given discretion by the Police Act, has withdrawn all these dismissals without consulting SAPS management structures in Gauteng, on which could possibly be withdrawn and which should, under no circumstances be withdrawn.
SAPS members who instigated illegal protest action at Douglasdale have now been redeployed to many other police stations in the Province. There is a high probability that they will cause trouble wherever they go.
Even though members accused of racism have been cleared, the Police Minister has passed on these charges to the Human Rights Commission. Is this a witch hunt?
I sincerely hope that the bad judgement shown by Minister Nathi Nhleko in this matter does not come back to bite him.
Kate Lorimer MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety
083 642 2727
March 5, 2015