Po­lice spooks threaten to strike

CityPress - - News - ABRAM MASHEGO abram.mashego@city­press.co.za

Tur­moil is brew­ing within the po­lice’s crime in­tel­li­gence unit, with oper­a­tives threat­en­ing to go on strike or dis­obey new act­ing head Ma­jor Gen­eral Pa­trick Mokushane’s or­ders.

Mokushane, ap­pointed act­ing head of crime in­tel­li­gence on Mon­day, gave all crime in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers un­til to­mor­row to va­cate the unit’s head­quar­ters in Eras­muskloof, Pre­to­ria, and be de­ployed to po­lice clus­ters around the coun­try.

“We are left with no choice but to defy his or­ders. By de­ploy­ing us to the clus­ters and plac­ing us within clus­ters he is blow­ing our cover,” said one of­fi­cer.

Crime in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers op­er­ate in a strictly con­fi­den­tial en­vi­ron­ment in which their iden­ti­ties and the role they play in in­for­ma­tion gath­er­ing is kept top se­cret. Part of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties is to in­fil­trate syn­di­cates and pro­vide in­for­ma­tion sup­port to po­lice about planned crimes.

“The man­ner in which we have been de­ployed is in­hu­mane... How does one get a week’s no­tice to re­lo­cate?” asked an­other.

SA Polic­ing Union pres­i­dent Mpho Kwinika said the union was chal­leng­ing the de­ci­sion and had de­clared a con­flict with the em­ployer.

“We ad­vised man­age­ment that they can­not just de­ploy mem­bers with­out proper con­sul­ta­tion. The trans­fer will not hap­pen,” Kwinika said, adding that de­ploy­ing of­fi­cers to clus­ters ex­posed them to some of their col­leagues who shouldn’t know who they are.

But an­other source within crime in­tel­li­gence, who is close to Mokushane, said all the new act­ing head wanted was for oper­a­tives to be out and about and do­ing their jobs.

“They have to be on the ground and serve the pub­lic ... We can­not have oper­a­tives based at head of­fice while crim­i­nals are busy rul­ing the streets,” he said.

An­other se­nior source within crime in­tel­li­gence said the unit was be­ing re­struc­tured and mem­bers from the rank of con­sta­ble to war­rant of­fi­cer, who left the SA Po­lice Ser­vice (SAPS), were now be­ing re-en­listed. This is be­ing done to cre­ate jobs for non-statu­tory force (NSF) mem­bers – for­mer mem­bers of the mil­i­tary wings of lib­er­a­tion move­ments be­fore 1994. These peo­ple are be­ing brought in, the source said, to han­dle “sen­si­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tions”.

These, City Press re­ported last week, are ex­pected to in­clude politi­cians and mem­bers of non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions who op­pose Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, as well as jour­nal­ists, in the run-up to the ANC’s De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence.

The source said newly ap­pointed act­ing po­lice com­mis­sioner, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Le­setja Moth­iba, last week signed the “doc­u­ment that will al­low a num­ber of the MKMVA [Umkhonto weSizwe Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion] mem­bers to be re-ranked into high-rank­ing man­age­rial po­si­tions in the po­lice, start­ing from full colonel up­wards. The cost to the po­lice bud­get is es­ti­mated to be R10 bil­lion.”

The insider said this was be­ing done at the in­sis­tence of the MKMVA, which has com­plained that its mem­bers were side­lined. The NSF com­po­nent has a num­ber of se­nior man­agers with­out any port­fo­lio in the po­lice.

SAPS spokesper­son Ma­jor Gen­eral Sally de Beer said the re-en­list­ment process was be­ing done to “im­prove ca­pac­ity in dif­fer­ent SAPS en­vi­ron­ments, fo­cus­ing on the com­mer­cial crime units, or­gan­ised crime units, de­tec­tive units at po­lice sta­tions, fam­ily vi­o­lence, child pro­tec­tion and sex­ual of­fences units, foren­sic so­cial work­ers, in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ers, crime in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cers, po­lice sta­tions, 10111 cen­tres, K9 units, pub­lic or­der polic­ing, mounted units and generic sup­port”.

At­tempts to reach Mokushane on his cell­phone were fruit­less.

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