Too much passion

2016-02-19 11:00
Jay Jugwanth

Jay Jugwanth (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Mountain Rise Community Policing Forum (CPF) meeting scheduled for Wednesday night was abruptly adjourned when top police management and provincial CPF officials intervened.

The acting cluster commander for uMgungundlovu North, Brigadier Francis Bantham, called for the meeting, which had barely begun, to be adjourned after claims that Mountain Rise CPF chairperson Jay Jugwanth had violated the code of conduct.

Jugwanth, who earlier this week alleged he had been assaulted at the station, had called on the community to attend the meeting, which was to focus on public safety at the station.

Bantham said Jugwanth’s call to the community was “inciting” and had created the expectation that people could meet the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, which investigates charges laid against police officers, at the meeting.

Provincial CPF chairperson Bafana Mntambo said Jugwanth had violated the code of conduct by releasing a media statement without clearing it with the relevant heads.

“The relationship between the police and the CPF is a partnership. All media statements need to be read by the CPF provincial board and the police spokesperson before being released,” he said.

Mntambo said the provincial delegation and police management were planning to meet Jugwanth after The Witness reported on his alleged assault at the police station. The Witness had also publicised the proposed CPF meeting in an article Bantham referred to as “inciting”.

Mntambo said Jugwanth was not allowed to discuss his alleged assault and other similar issues at a public meeting without addressing the matter with police and provincial CPF management.

He said Wednesday night’s meeting was scheduled so quickly after his alleged assault that they had not had time to meet him before that. “We had to come to the meeting.”

The CPF meeting became heated when Bantham stood up to tell Jugwanth he had “incited” community members. Jugwanth, as chairperson of the meeting, asked Bantham to sit down shortly before adjourning.

“I want to apologise to the community members that attended that meeting. The situation did get out of hand and I want to personally apologise for that,” said Mntambo.

In a press statement released shortly after midnight yesterday, Jugwanth apologised for speaking to the media.

He said he had called the meeting to encourage those who experienced harassment or assault at the station to come forward.

“If serious cases were revealed, it would be a case for IPID to investigate. This stemmed from numerous comments to me via social media and I proactively requested the unhappy people to present themselves in person,” said Jugwanth.

He concluded his statement with, “love is having to say you’re sorry ... my community is my passion.”

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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