DA slams Mountain Rise SAPS transfers

2009-11-05 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance has criticised the redeployment of the 11 Mountain Rise police officers pending the investigation into the manipulation of crime statistics at the station.

The party’s spokesperson for community safety and liaison in KZN, Sizwe Mchunu, said the decision to transfer the officers compromises the integrity of the SA Police Service.

“While the DA supports the rule of law — that they are innocent until proved guilty — there is a huge question-mark hanging over their credibility as police officers. Due to the extremely serious nature of the allegations and the fact that the position of a police officer requires absolute integrity, the DA repeats its call for the immediate suspension of all 11 officers.”

Mchunu slammed the decision to suspend the whistleblowers in the incident as “inconsistent”. “That the officers who exposed the allegations of misconduct have been suspended without pay while those that are under suspicion remain in office is appalling.” One of the whistleblowers, Constable Craig Josiah, went to court to overturn the decision to suspend him without pay. He was successful.

The 11 members were served with notices of transfer to the provincial commissioner’s office with effect from yesterday.

SAPS spokeswoman Director Phindile Radebe said it is possible “that more persons may be identified and moved to ensure a smoother investigation”.

Reacting to Mchunu’s statement, she said proper procedure was followed in the matter. “Each matter is treated on its merits, so we cannot compare two separate issues. Our procedure is that members are served with notices of intention to suspend and given an opportunity to motivate why they should not be suspended.”

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