Some cops be­lieve it is a ploy to side­line them

Post - - NEWS - JA­NINE MOOD­LEY

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.”

Ca­pac­ity

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.

PIC­TURE: GCINA NDWALANE/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

MEM­BERS of the Pub­lic Or­der Polic­ing Unit at the SAPS ca­reer expo in Durban re­cently.

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