Reservists stage sit-in over SAPS jobs
A group of reservists who claim they have been promised full-time employment in the SAPS, have staged a two-night sit-in at police headquarters.
The group claim police management has since reneged on the promise to employ them.
About 50 reservists took part in the sit-in at police headquarters in the Pretoria CBD from Monday, demanding they be employed permanently.
The reservists claim they were ignored by former minister of police Nathi Mthethwa for years, forcing them to resort to a sit-in.
Three weeks ago, they submitted their third memorandum to the Presidency and Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko’s office. “We slept at the head office yesterday, hoping we would get answers,” said national spokesman of the reservists Molefi Masuelle.
Nhleko’s spokesman Musa Zondi said the minister was at the presidential imbizo in KwaZulu-Natal. He said he could only comment today.
Institute for Security Studies senior researcher Dr Johan Burger said it would be practical for police to hire reservists, provided they met minimum requirements.
“I doubt the minister could have made such a promise. Perhaps it could have been said during a discussion, but I do not remember a promise being made,” he said.
“The minister could have been misunderstood. He could have said those who fall within the requirements can apply and would be considered, but not that everyone would be employed,” Burger said.
Masuelle said reservists were given forms in 2009 which they were made to sign to be integrated into the police force as permanent employees.
“All we want is for them to properly give us permanent employment like they promised us in 2009.
“They should also give us the money that is owed us since then,” he said.
Reservists were seen lying on the floor of the head office on Pretorius Street, with bags and blankets. Some were wearing police attire, blue pants and black boots.
Elijah Raphela, who has been a reservist since 2008, acknowledged that reservists were not promised employment when they decided to volunteer.
He said their demand was a result of a promise made to them after they started work as reservists. “It’s hard to survive when you are not being paid. I have one child and we are both dependent on my parents,” he said.
Police mistreated them as they were not a part of the force, they charged.
“The forms we signed have been processed in the system. We can’t receive basic health services from state hospitals because we registered as SAPS employees and have medical aid. We can’t even get RDP houses because it seems like we have salaries,” said Raphela.