A fog of con­fu­sion about of­fi­cers’ re­spon­si­bil­i­ties

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT - Jerome Leven­dal Cape Town Mark Wi­ley, DA MPP Chair of Com­mu­nity Safety Stand­ing Com­mit­tee

AN­DREW Don­ald­son is con­fused about roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties (A Fa­mous Grouse, June 29). His ram­bling comment about the Gen­eral Vearey dagga T-shirt in­ci­dent can­not be taken se­ri­ously. If it was meant as fri­vol­ity, it did the trick.

The crit­i­cal point Mr Don­ald­son missed is that Gen­eral Vearey’s per­sonal pref­er­ences in mu­sic, re­li­gion, pol­i­tics or her­bal reme­dies not­with­stand­ing, he is first and fore­most a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer in charge of one of the most im­por­tant and crime-rid­den po­lice precincts in South Africa.

His only task is to up­hold the law and to lead by ex­am­ple.

As a ma­jor-gen­eral, one who car­ries the crossed mar­shals ba­ton (sig­ni­fy­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion) and sword (sig­ni­fy­ing op­er­a­tional com­mand) in­signia, he has ac­cepted an enor­mous re­spon­si­bil­ity and all his ac­tions are con­stantly un­der pub­lic scru­tiny.

They, like politi­cians, have lit­tle pri­vate life and are held to a higher level of ac­count.

Gen­eral of­fi­cers do not take “a dare”. Many ex­am­ples ex­ist where gen­eral of­fi­cers have had to re­sign for seem­ingly mi­nor in­frac­tions. Gen­eral Pe­traeus (for hav­ing an af­fair) and Gen­eral McCrys­tal (for in­ju­di­cious re­marks) are well-known re­cent cases.

Yes, they are Amer­i­can ex­am­ples, but it is pre­cisely be­cause, in the South African con­text of the to­tal ab­sence of ac­count­abil­ity, we find a scan­dal-rid­den civil ser­vice and con­tinue to ap­point to­tally un­suit­able per­sons to the most sen­si­tive posts.

This is called cadre de­ploy­ment, where po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion is more im­por­tant than abil­ity. My job, as a duly elected politi­cian, is to hold civil ser­vants to ac­count and to en­sure that ap­pro­pri­ate leg­is­la­tion is in place.

There may well be merit in hav­ing

The SAHRC should do its home­work on wheel­chair ac­cess in the pub­lic sec­tor. Most homes and pub­lic places would be deemed “an in­fringe­ment to their dig­nity”. Most in that po­si­tion have to solve their own prob­lems at their own cost.

To all the lit­tle Ir­ish cry­ba­bies, it’s been ob­vi­ous that Brian O’Driscoll is not as good as he ever thought he was and it’s time for a change. Look­ing for­ward to the game. Wel­come back Ge­orge Smith, he too will learn from O’Driscoll’s les­son.

Want­ing to pen­sion off older teach­ers to make way for younger ones is crazy. That’s what the ANC did to get rid of whites in ed­u­ca­tion and other govern­ment de­part­ments. And the rest is his­tory. – Thomas

I can’t un­der­stand the con­stant call for blood by the blood trans­fu­sion unit. Pay peo­ple to do­nate blood and you will have a mega sup­ply, as is done world wide. Af­ter all, the end- users are pay­ing their butts off via med­i­cal aids and hos­pi­tals for blood. – Al

I agree with the SMS that says it a de­bate on the le­gal­i­sa­tion of some drugs, but as the judge replied to the lawyer who told him that “the law is an ass”: “You may be right, but it is not your role to tell me this.”

SAPS of­fi­cers have no dis­cre­tion in the mat­ter of il­le­gal drug use – only to en­sure that the law is up­held and not to con­fuse the pub­lic.

Next time an SAPS of­fi­cer wants to sup­port reg­gae mu­sic, let him wear a Bob Mar­ley T-shirt. seems Naushad Omar and his bud­dies get all the space to sprout their ha­tred and ig­no­rance and we who send fair and in­formed com­ments get ig­nored.

The con­tin­u­ous rise in the petrol price has be­come one big scam. It’s not only about the weak rand, we pro­duce our own fuel, but get no ben­e­fit, and the high fuel levies are govern­ment con­trolled. Con­sumers are like lambs to the slaugh­ter. – Thomas

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