Cape Town - The Fidelity Services Group has suspended an armed response officer who called for Dunoon to be “burned down” on social media amid an outcry from users.
The post on the Richwood Neighbourhood Watch Facebook Page by response officer Andre Rauch sent tongues wagging this week.
The post, made to congratulate another response officer for extinguishing a veld fire near De Zicht Estate, turned sour when Rauch took to social media and wrote: “Let the Du Noon birned (sic) down lol”.
Residents immediately responded, telling Rauch they found his comments terrible and disgusting. But he merely responded by saying he didn’t care and that his comments were fuelled by his training.
“Disgusting comment. Put yourself in the shoes of the many mothers and fathers, children and elderly who would be affected by a serious fire that burnt down the whole of Dunoon,” one woman wrote in response.
Fidelity ADT general manager, Tertius Venter-Davies, confirmed the suspension.
“The Fidelity Services Group takes a no-tolerance approach to intolerant behaviour and discrimination.
“The comments made by the officer in the social media posts do not reflect the Fidelity Services brand or what it stands for.
“The officer has been suspended and subjected to a disciplinary process. We deeply regret any harm his comments may have caused.”
Glen Marais, chairperson of the Richwood Neighbourhood Watch, said he was shocked to read the comments made by Rauch.
“We don’t condone these comments and this is not what we stand for. I don’t know why he would say things like this but we are shocked because he is a good officer.
“The original post was made to celebrate the quick reaction by another armed response officer in preventing the fire from spreading, not aimed at creating any such negative inferences.”
Rauch said he was sorry about the comment and explained it was based on video footage showing how the fire was started.
“I am very sorry and I did not mean it to sound racist. I was referring to the criminals in Dunoon. There was footage of how that fire started.
“It showed that a guy ran over the N7 and started it and ran away. I have apologised and I meant to say for the criminals to be burnt.”