Some cops believe it is a ploy to sideline them
POLICE have labelled the new recruitment initiative, to re-enlist former cops, as a ploy to sideline current Indian employees from management positions. Their views, they say, are further fuelled by the SAPS annual report of staff figures in 2017/18, which revealed that only one Indian had been employed at a top management level.
The report further added that at senior management, a total of 59 Indians were employed as opposed to 456 Blacks, followed by Whites at 166.
Of the 194 605 employees at the SAPS, 4 903 Indians were employed.
The majority of Indian officers sat at skilled technical and academically qualified levels and had the least number of terminations. They also saw the lowest progression to another salary notch.
But national police spokesperson, Brigadier Vish Naidoo said promotions are a separate process and the re-enlistment would not affect those who are presently in the force.
He added that the recruitment drive should not become a race issue.
“There is no jeopardising of this process. The members we are recruiting are at the lowest salary scale and have no influence. No one is guaranteed a spot. We have external and internal procedures to obtain the best people needed for the job at hand. Of course, demographics and equity do play a role but there are other factors that are included.”
Last week, the national police spokesperson, Colonel Athlenda Mathe announced the start of the re-enlisting process, which was aimed at bringing much-needed skills back to the force.
She said they are looking at recruiting at least 500 former officers for the 2018/19 drive, adding that the positions were only available for those who left the force and not for those who have retired.
“The service hereby welcomes applications from former members with the ranks of Constable, Sergeant, and Warrant Officer. Only those who meet the prescribed criteria will be considered.
“Successful candidates will also only be re-enlisted in the ranks they previously held in the South African Police Service and be remunerated on the minimum salary notch applicable to their relevant rank.”
She said the focus of the re-enlistment process was to improve capacity in at least 10 different departments, including the K9 Unit, the Flying Squad, and the Family, Child & Sexual Offences Unit.
While Mathe believes former officers will help bring much-needed skills back to the force, some officers disagree.
A warrant officer, who has been in the same rank for the past 20 years, felt it was a ploy by management to sideline those who have proven their skills and commitment, especially Indian officers.
“The Indian officers are being overlooked. They are trying to pull the wool over our eyes but we know what is going on. I have been in the same position for years.
“Those posts should have been set aside for us. My daughter, who is 24, earns more than me. Why are we not being promoted?”
He said many policemen left the force because they wanted their packages and are only driven by greed.
“Now that they have squandered their monies, they want to come back. It is a different case if management were bringing them in as civilian personnel.”
Another officer added: “Accommodate the older police officers and then do enlistment. I have been at the force for 32 years, 20 of which were as a warrant officer. I recently applied for a captain position but nothing came off it. It is not fair.
“We are the faithful ones, who are still here but are not paid our due.”
A captain at a local police station disagreed, saying the SAPS are suffering a major “brain drain”.
“All the good cops are leaving and we need skilled officers to perform the duty.”
He disputed that it would affect promotions. “Promotions will only happen in the next few years anyway, so officers have to wait.”
A retired detective at Phoenix SAPS, Max Munian, said he had full confidence in the move.
“I believe it will do the service good. There is a proper screening to make sure only the best are brought back.”
Munian, 62, said he would return in a heartbeat if he was called back. “I miss the old days when policemen were just policemen. Those who loved fighting crime.”
Another retired officer, Captain Hirawan Lall, believed that policemen who left should not return.
“The police environment changes every day. Age and time go together. There is no time to play catch up.”
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) spokesperson, Richard Mamabolo, said while the union did not oppose the drive, current employees must be duly recognised for their long service.
MEMBERS of the Public Order Policing Unit at the SAPS career expo in Durban recently.