Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
15 Mar 2019
6:30 am

Police strike ‘just rumours’, there’s no evidence – Cele

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Nevertheless, Cele made a call to all police officers to heed their oath of office and not participate in any planned industrial action.

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Police Minister Bheki Cele said his department would not waste resources preparing for threats of industrial action by SA Police Service members.

This, despite calling an early morning briefing discouraging officers from partaking in an alleged planned strike next week. The planned strike is being reported by people claiming to be police officers on social media.

Both the SA Police Union and Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) have distanced themselves from any planned strike, calling for their members to state their grievances through proper channels.

It was understood that officers were unhappy with the implementation of promotions, which have been overdue since 2011, resulting in a backlog of 69,219 overdue promotions.

Some officers believed that preferential treatment was being given to certain units.

In a bid to quell the reservations of police unions, General Khehla Sitole would be leading a team, which would visit all the nine provinces to “further unpack” the process of promotions.

Addressing the media yesterday, Cele made a call to all police officers to heed their oath of office and not participate in any planned industrial action.

But when asked what contingency plans were in place in the case that the threat was realised, he was resolute in his certainty that no such threat existed.

“We are not going to waste our energy instead of doing our work – we are not shadow boxing something that we don’t know is going to happen,” he said.

The Citizen has received several voice notes and messages forwarded from the social media groups calling on all police members to show up at work and conduct a go-slow until the national government heeded their demands for fairer treatment.

Cele, however, argued that there was no evidence that these threats were real.

“We don’t have evidence that our members have been engaged in what we have seen in the media, social media communication and all that. We don’t have evidence that those are our members. But as the South African police, we have capacity of checking those things and we are doing that.”

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