Vearey goes underground after downgraded police protection
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Former head of detectives and top cop Jeremy Vearey has gone into hiding with his family after he felt the security assigned to him this week was not adequate.
Vearey launched a court bid to have the police protection reinstated after it was withdrawn following his axing.
The Western Cape High Court ruled on Thursday that National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole and Provincial Police Commissioner Thembisile Patekile assign two tactical response team members to Vearey.
The court also ordered that when Vearey had to testify in court matters and when he travelled, they would, by prior arrangement, provide him with four tactical response team members.
Vearey said two officers reported for duty with one vehicle on July 16.
“This is a downgrade of the previous state of affairs when I had a four-member escort team with two vehicles. They were instructed to do mere escort services. They have no brief to cover me 24 hours and will only work normal shift hours and then leave,” said Vearey.
He said no static protection at home was being provided even though the threat to his life had escalated.
“I have instructed my attorneys to challenge this in court as well as write to SAPS to this effect. A Contempt of Court report will also be submitted,“ Vearey said, adding that he and his family would remain in hiding until the SAPS implemented the court order ”without malice or further deliberately endangering my life“.
He also said the lives of the two members who were assigned to protect him for the past 10 years were placed in harm.
“I have lived underground before while in MK (Umkhonto we Sizwe) and the ANC’s Department of Intelligence and Security under apartheid. I will continue to do even more so now to protect my family,” Vearey said.
He was found guilty of misconduct in May after he made posts on Facebook related to policing matters and was subsequently dismissed.
In papers filed with the court in his bid for the reinstatement of protection services, Vearey said there were threats on his life as a result of the cases he was involved in dealing with gangs.
Police spokesperson Andre Traut said issues of security and or guard duties for “certain individuals” as a result of an identified threat were not discussed in the public domain.
“It is, therefore, recommended that the affected parties raise whatever concerns they have about their safety and security with the relevant authority within SAPS,” Traut said.