Major-General Andre Lincoln and his Anti-Gang Unit. Photo: NoorSlamdien/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – The SA Police Union (Sapu) has submitted a motion to the Labour Court for an urgent interdict against the implementation of the Anti-Gang Unit. 

The union is seeking the relief pending finalisation of a matter before the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council relating to staffers first being consulted on the implementation of the unit.

In an affidavit, acting Sapu general secretary Tumelo Mogodiseng said the establishment of a new unit amounted to restructuring and ultimately changes in the organisation of work.

“On establishment of a unit, staff will have to be transferred to this new unit, and before that can happen, the available posts must be advertised in the ordinary manner to enable all members of the SAPS to apply for positions in the new unit on an equal footing,” Mogodiseng said.

The unit was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Police Minister Bheki Cele this month in an effort to fight the scourge of gangsterism.

It is made up of members from specialised units with the objective to “dislodge and terminally weaken the capacity of the gangs”, and to disorganise and disable the criminal economy linked to gangsterism, including drug and firearm supply lines.

“It is not fair that the unit members are recruited without transparent criteria having been established as a result of consultation in the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council and proper work studies been undertaken by the SAPS,” Mogodiseng said.

Cele’s spokesperson, Reneilwe Serero, said they would respond before tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the ANC in the Western Cape said Sapu’s court action was an attempt to undermine both Ramaphosa and Cele.

“As the ANC, we know that while the Anti-Gang Unit is beginning to win the battle against crime, it alone will not be sufficient to win the war.

“This war can only be won with the support of, and in partnership with, our communities most affected by crime. We are therefore also very excited about the imminent relaunch of the Bambanani anti-crime volunteer programme by Minister of Police Bheki Cele to keep our communities, streets, schools and children safer,” the ANC said.

Cape Times