KZN detectives reveal why they have left the SAPS

2014-10-18 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL detectives told The Witness that key reasons for their departure included:

• Up to six detectives having to share one working police vehicle. Emmitt Reid said: “You’re told there are no vehicles available and you see vehicles sitting in a police garage for nine months, waiting for a part, and we had over 100 [cases] each to investigate.” Adele Meyer said it often happened that a single vehicle was available for over 400 investigations in Hillcrest as “vehicles were standing because there was no money for tyres”.

• “There are often no pens or even paper to take statements and no docket covers,” according to Meyer. “I thought to myself: ‘Am I prepared to do the same work in this prefab building with a zinc roof for the next 23 years of my career? No.’”

• Miscommunication about changes to police pension payout conditions. Swannie Swanepoel said concerns about his pension had contributed to his decision.

• A total lack of incentive to remain a detective. Swanepoel said the only incentive available to Pinetown detectives were shopping vouchers — between R300 and R2 000 — sponsored by

local supermarkets, while detectives also had to attend court during their leave time;

• A monthly R119 state cellphone allowance. Meyer said: “My 12-year-old gets more for his phone. As a duty officer, I’d use that up in an hour.”

• “Incredible laziness” among some uniformed officers.

• The number of former detectives now happy in new insurance or security jobs had reached

a “tipping point”, where stories of double and triple salary levels had circulated in the SAPS

detective division;

• Courts that release violent criminals on bail. Meyer said: “When you’ve proved your case in court and the suspect gets a two-year suspended sentence for rape, you become the bearer of bad news to the victim.”

• Political interference. Referring to the mass prosecution of 28 Cato Manor detectives, Meyer said: “As just normal detectives, we see that disgusting persecution and think, ‘If that can happen to specialist detectives out of politics, then what could happen to us?’ Those guys were dedicated and they have been broken in half for actually doing their jobs.”

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