Cape Town - After exposing what it called “wasteful expenditure”, Action Society has suggested that Major-General Sizakhele William Dyantyi, commander of the recently formed West Coast police district, be sacked.
The district commissioner has been staying at the three-star Saldanha Hotel for 17 months and, to date, the government has spent almost R1 million on the accommodation.
Director of Action Society Ian Cameron said: “The hotel (accommodation) costs between R50 000 and R57 000 a month.
“He has been living in luxury for the last 17 months; that’s almost R1 million that has been spent on this general’s accommodation, while his own members at police stations don’t always have toilet paper to use when they go to the bathroom; when they don’t have paper to write on or where photocopy machines don’t work and where vehicles aren’t always roadworthy.
“During the time of budget cuts, the general and SAPS management in the Western Cape tell members on the ground that they’re not allowed to get overtime because they are facing serious budget cuts. Yet it is completely, according to them, justifiable (for the general) to live in luxury.
“There’s nothing temporary about 17 months; SAPS could have made the decision a long time ago. Either appoint him as the district commissioner or get someone else, but get the job done. There’s no reason to be taking this long.”
In response to media questions, acting provincial commissioner Novela Potelwa said Dyantyi’s work on the West Coast was an internal operational decision not taken lightly but out of consideration for the communities of the region, in the interest of service delivery.
“The detachment duty arrangement is subject to review from time to time, taking into account a number of operational variables.”
Cameron asked if it was an operational decision whether you get a sea view.
“Whether he gets a beachfront room or should he rather have a pool view when he drinks his cocktail before going to dinner every night.
“Operational is SAPS making sure a Special Task Force team is deployed in Manenberg and that West Coast stations have the right gear to be able to (stop) abalone poachers from destroying the marine life around the coast. (And) for making sure that they can’t trade drugs with other gangs and cartels, either from outside the country or in; but actually doing your job.
“SAPS management needs to stop doubting the intelligence of cops on the ground, and they need to stop doubting the intelligence of the public; we’re not stupid.
“Major-General Dyantyi, in my opinion, you need to be sacked. You need to leave SAPS.”
Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen said this allegation was deeply concerning.
“More so, as our country is in a fiscal crisis due to the national government’s mismanagement of the fiscus and an economy that is showing no growth. I have already engaged SAPS’ provincial senior management and I am awaiting feedback on this matter. A thorough investigation is required and it has to be clear why this amount of money has allegedly been spent.
“Furthermore, these funds, if found to be true, could’ve been used to ensure that extra officers were deployed in the area. It’s vital that there isn’t any mismanagement or waste of resources. Every effort should be made to utilise resources in the fight against crime.”