Police take bosses to court

2013-06-29 12:06
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Eleven lieuntenant-colonels in charge of operations at OR Tambo International Airport have obtained a court order to stop their transfer from the border policing unit to several police stations in Gauteng, the Saturday Star reported.

The officers approached the Johannesburg Labour Court this week seeking an urgent interdict against police management after they were issued with letters of transfer from their posts.

The application was opposed by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega, the newspaper said.

The group of policeman in their application stated that their transfer was procedurally irregular, unfair and unlawful.

In the letter, Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela said the division "had taken a decision to reorganise the deployment at and within OR Tambo International Airport" in line with optimum service delivery requirements.

"Middle managers have been identified as a priority in the process of reorganisation as to afford an opportunity to accumulate diverse policing experience," he wrote, according to the Saturday Star.

"In this regard you have been identified for the redployment in line with the acquisition of skills as mentioned."

Lieutenant-colonels are middle managers at the airport tasked with ensuring crime prevention operations are carried out daily.

One of the officers was three months away from retirement and did not see how his transfer would benefit the service.

Judge Hamilton Cele said the 11 officers had not been given reasonable time to consider their transfer, and it was not stated if they would return to their positions when their training was complete.

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