Mthatha police reservists worked for 10 years with no pay - MP

2016-03-09 16:13

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Cape Town - A group of Mthatha, Eastern Cape, police reservists has been working for free for at least 10 years, MPs heard on Wednesday.

"They have been put into the roster for 10 years and they wear a uniform, they have their guns," ANC MP Loyiso Mpumlwana told Parliament’s police portfolio committee.

"They do everything that a police person does, except they are not paid. They have not been paid for 10 years but they have been engaged, and they are still engaged today, and they are just reservists," he said.

When he raised this with a commissioner in the Eastern Cape, he was told that when vacancies came up the reservists could apply for full-time posts, in line with policy.

Mpumlwana said they worked for 16 days a month without pay or benefits.

"The SAPS has been using people, saving money, instead of employing people. They walk to work because they don't have money. One was attacked and killed on his way home. It was painful.

"I want to find out what's going on. We need to normalise that and pay them retrospectively," he said.

EFF MP Phillip Mhlongo agreed.

"Our people who take it as a bread and butter matter really believe that they are working for free for their own government."

Earlier police management told the committee that around 8 000 people had resigned from the SAPS. Most were from the 2014/15 financial year, and some resignations were carried over.

At the same time, it was on a recruitment drive and trying to encourage those who had resigned to rejoin.

FF Plus MP Pieter Groenewald said he could not understand how the reservists could have worked for 10 years without pay.

Some MPs suggested that the committee hold a separate meeting to discuss the issue. General Stefan Schutte, presenting the SAPS’s expenditure to the committee, said he would look into it.

He said 1 105 posts were advertised in June 2015 for re-enlistments. A total of 3 152 applications were received and 584 former members were approved for re-enlistment at the end of December.

Read more on:    police  |  politics  |  parliament 2016

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