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Cape Town - Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer has settled the debate about policemen wearing civilian clothes with dagga emblems on them, saying by law “there is no action police can take”.
A furore erupted after Mitchells Plain cluster commander Major-General Jeremy Vearey was photographed wearing such a T-shirt, with the word “Rastafarian” on it, at a public rally in June.
DA MPL Mark Wiley, chairman of the legislature’s committee on community safety, criticised the top cop for publicly displaying a dagga emblem on his shirt.
He called on Lamoer to discipline Vearey, adding that the officer’s lack of remorse represented an “utter disregard for the devastating effect that drugs have on communities such as Mitchells Plain”.
Lamoer told the committee on Monday that no disciplinary steps would be taken. He had written to the committee many times to “explain the action taken by police”.
“We went through the disciplinary regulations and… there’s no further action that will be taken because, according to our regulations, there’s no action that we can take.”
But Wiley questioned why Lamoer’s initial response did not make it clear that no action would be taken, and merely referred the committee to the South African Police Service Act and the labour legislation. Wiley said the original question was: “If any action was taken in this particular case, if so, what was done, if not, why not?”
Lamoer said police had studied the SAPS disciplinary regulations and found there was none that Vearey had transgressed.