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Police union wins cop vetting case

Johannesburg - A labour court has ruled that fitness boards to investigate police officers with criminal records were unlawfully convened, Popcru said on Thursday.

The Labour Court in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday ruled that the boards had no legal force or effect, Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) spokeswoman Theto Mahlakoana said in a statement.

“The boards were set up by the national commissioner to investigate and take action against police officers who have criminal records,” Mahlakoana said.

This affected officers convicted of an offence and sentenced before September 1, 2013.

Popcru approached the court in March seeking a review to set aside the decision to convene the boards. The union further wanted the court to set aside the decision to discipline members found unfit by the boards.

“Popcru does not and has never disputed the entitlement of SA Police Service to dismiss officers who commit crimes.

“What resulted in the organisation approaching the court was the process which SAPS adopted to address the problem of its employees with criminal records, as we found it to be grossly unfair and unlawful,” Mahlakoana said.

National spokesman Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale said the police noted the judgment and were studying it.

“As soon as we have obtained legal opinion we will decide how to proceed with the matter.”

Sapa

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