Mid-Illovo police divided over return of commander

2014-09-11 00:00

THE return of Captain Robert Jabulani Dlamini as the Mid-Illovo police station commander has divided police officers at the small police station.

Dlamini was transferred to Richmond in 2011 pending the outcome of investigations into various allegations levelled against him.

When the announcement to reinstate him was made last Wednesday, some members were not pleased. On Monday several members booked off sick in protest.

Some staff say the grievances against Dlamini were instigated because he is a “no nonsense” commander. Others accused him of “corruption, maladministration, favouritism and defeating the ends of justice”.

His detractors told The Witness that the decision to reinstate Dlamini was flawed because they did not get a fair hearing to address their concerns about his management style.

“We are stressed and traumatised because he has divided members by promising promotion to some while vowing to deal with other members,” said a police officer.

He said Dlamini did not want them to arrest his “friends”.

However, those who support Dlamini said the those who criticised him were disgruntled because he is very strict and wants members to take their job seriously.

“This was just a smear campaign because they lost, and are failing to admit defeat,” said a member.

He said there was nothing wrong with Dlamini’s management style. The problem was that some members were trying to effect service delivery and others did not want to work.

“They are being used by Popcru (Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union) shop stewards who want to turn police administration into a political organisation,” he said.

Some officers told The Witness that certain members had forgotten that being a policeman meant you put the public interest before your own.

“If they have proof of anything they are saying [about Dlamini] why don’t they submit evidence and let the courts decide,” she said.

KZN Popcru secretar, Kwenza Nxele said they were the ones who called for Dlamini to be transferred.

“We believe that provincial police management was out of line in reinstating him because of what he did,” said Nxele.

Another meeting to discuss the issue has been scheduled for Friday next week, he said.

“Our demand was that Dlamini must be charged and arrested for defeating the ends of justice but there was no transparency in how the department handled this entire issue,” said Nxele.

Order to return made by an arbitrator

PROVINCIAL Police spokesperson, Captain Thulani Zwane said Dlamini was returned to the Mid-Illovo police station in accordance with an order made by an arbitrator appointed by the Safety and Security Sectorial Bargaining Council. “He was represented by an attorney at the arbitration itself, who argued that his transfer was unfair,” said Zwane.

He said the Bargaining Council is an independent body that deals with matters that could not be resolved independently by police management. “The return of Captain Dlamini was implemented after explaining to members at the station, and to the acting station commander that an order had been made by an arbitrator, which had to be complied with,” said Zwane.

He said investigations involving maladministration, corruption, or defeating the ends of justice will be dealt with by police management upon receipt of statements on oath from those making such allegations.

After proper process has been followed in terms of the SAPS disciplinary regulations, the provincial commissioner can take a decision.

“In the interim, members booking off sick will be required to comply with the SAPS sick leave procedures,” he said.

Zwane said should investigations find that they are not properly off sick, then they will be dealt with in terms of the disciplinary regulations.

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