SIU says transformation will take time
Johannesburg - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is "passionate" about transformation, but it will take time to redress imbalances, spokeswoman Marika Muller said on Friday.
"The SIU has always acknowledged that it has challenges relating to employment equity," she said in a statement.
The unit had devoted significant resources to promoting blacks, but there was a high demand for skills in the forensic investigating sector.
"We are currently competing with the private sector which recruits individuals with the possibility of a higher pay... that is where we are struggling."
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union earlier in the week called for the removal of SIU head Willie Hofmeyr, saying he had failed to transform the agency.
"At the top of our members' problems at SIU has been management's failure to transform the agency from a lily-white agency to one that is representative of all the races, especially at a senior management level," union general secretary Fikile Majola said.
Muller said the SIU had a comprehensive employment equity plan which dealt with all relevant policy issues, and was recently approved by the units' employment equity committee.
"This is a permanent and active body constituted of SIU staff members, who include members of Nehawu," she said.
The union claimed Hofmeyr had failed to focus on the SIU as he was also head of the asset forfeiture unit under the National Prosecuting Authority.
Muller said the SIU had a collective leadership and an active executive committee which dealt with the SIU's day-to-day management.
She said the SIU was surprised and concerned by the union's calls. Nehawu said it would urge President Jacob Zuma to remove Hofmeyr from his post.
Majola said the union had not discussed a possible replacement for Hofmeyr, but preferred a black candidate.