Cape Town - Action Society has called on police to sack Paarl SAPS station commander, Nokuthula Pete, after “stirring up racial tension” following remarks she made.
Pete made it known on Facebook, in December, that she believed the SAPS in Paarl was “too white”.
She encouraged someone to apply for a transfer to Paarl and promised to sign off on it.
Action Society said the police keep shooting themselves in the foot with issues trying to disguise them as “internal” to supposedly avoid criticism.
Pete had written a reply to another officer on Facebook whom she suggested should work with her.
The reply read: “Nonkululeko Mayisela Nee Maseleni: this bald head is just like you, we don’t have a Lieutenant Colonel in Finance and Accounting so you get ready.”
To this the Facebook user replied that she could go the following day to Paarl; the station commander should send an email to another boss.
Pete then said: ”Put it in and you say Transfer Finance Paarl we will sign so I can change this white supremacy because Paarl is white.”
Action Society director Ian Cameron said they called for the disciplinary action against Pete to be expedited.
“Pete should have motivated and united police officers in the fight against violence in the area, but instead stirred up racial tensions, harming police morale in an area already plagued by serious investigative capacity shortages.
“Pete made it known on Facebook in December that she believed the SAPS in Paarl is ‘too white’. She encouraged someone to apply for a transfer to Paarl and promised to sign off on it.
“A disciplinary investigation commenced shortly after the incident, and we have learnt that the investigation has been completed.
“Pete took sick leave shortly after the incident and prolonged her annual leave, meaning she hasn’t returned to her post, creating the impression that she is trying to avoid facing the consequences of her actions.”
He said Pete must go and Paarl needed a strong and experienced station commander who could unite police members in the war against crime.
“If we want to win the war against crime, we need a motivated, united police service led by people with integrity, rather than racial agendas.
“Brigadier, colour, creed or culture has no role to play when fighting crime. It is simply about getting the job done! You make the rank of Brigadier cheap. You need to go!”
Pete has not been back to work since the complaints were brought forward and police have kept mum about the progress of the disciplinary investigation.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said: “The disciplinary investigation pertaining to the social media post of the Paarl station commander is under way.
“This is however an internal process between the employer and the employee and on this basis the finer aspects of the matter are not discussed with third parties.”
Cameron said the investigation is a public matter.
“What assurance can the SAPS give that the public can trust her if she is so openly and blatant racially prejudiced?
“The SAPS literally keep shooting themselves in the foot with issues that they try to disguise as ‘internal’ to supposedly avoid criticism. Honesty would go a hell of a long way to rebuild some trust between SAPS and the public.”
This is not the first time people complained about Pete. In April, The Gugulethu Uprising, an amalgamation of community-based organisations, accused the former Gugulethu police of sowing division in the community and the station, and wanted her gone.
The organisation challenged the office of the provincial police commissioner Thembisile Patekile and Police Minister Bheki Cele to transfer Pete, alleging that the police station had gone from bad to worse after she took over in 2020.
She was transferred to Paarl in November and then, about a month later, she posted staff function pictures, on which the colleague who was promised a job commented.