Johannesburg - Police top brass have disarmed the 50 Douglasdale officers who have been fired.
“They’ve been disarmed,” said SAPS spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale on Friday morning.
“We’ve collected everything from them: firearms, uniforms, certificates of appointment.”
Those dismissed have 30 days to make representations to Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko before the dismissals are final, but are no longer on duty.
Another 12 are still on duty, but are facing suspension: They have 48 hours to make representations to the Gauteng provincial SAPS office on why they should not be suspended. They have been disarmed.
In total so far, 62 officers are facing being fired or dismissed over the internal fights at the police station in the north of Joburg, at least some face criminal charges and SAPS management has warned that more may be charged.
Despite the problems, Makgale said the station was still operating, with some support from other stations in the same cluster.
All the officers were disarmed a week ago after tension boiled over, with members holding a protest on January 29 and threatening management on Monday. The SAPS tactical response unit was called in to disarm protesting members.
Disgruntled officers have accused station commander Brigadier Leon Kruger and two other senior officers of racism, and called for Kruger’s removal.
“Discipline by employees of the SAPS and adherence to the SAPS code of conduct is at the heart of policing. This implores officers to uphold the law,” said Makgale.
“The more disciplined officers are, the higher the chances of achieving better results in our efforts to fight crime.”
National commissioner General Riah Phiyega emphasised the need for discipline.
“Management did everything they could to avoid the situation reaching this stage. Given the highly regulated environment in which we work, we can neither afford nor allow ill-discipline. Although the parties in question have not been found guilty, we are disappointed with their conduct, as rendering professional services to our communities is of paramount importance and cannot be compromised by such serious misconduct,” said Phiyega.
Yesterday the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said it was “appalled by the unfair treatment” of the protesting officers, adding junior officials had complained of ill treatment by the mostly white station management.
Popcru said all the members wanted was for the SAPS to investigate their complaints and take action. It said the union hoped to meet Phiyega soon to discuss a way forward.
However an insider, who did not want to be identified, claimed disgruntled members did not want to be managed and did not want to work. He said police had investigated their complaints last year and found them to be without substance.