Cops say no need to panic over protests

2013-05-28 22:17
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The public has no need to panic about an administrative protest by Popcru-aligned police members planned for Wednesday, police said.

"We have contingency plans in place. There is no need for panic," spokesperson Brigadier Phuti Setati said on Tuesday afternoon.

"As an essential service, we [the SA Police Service (SAPS)] understand our mandate," he said.

In the case of legal strikes, the right of administrative staff to strike was respected, but this was regarded as an illegal strike, Setati said, adding that it would be closely monitored.

He said the no work, no pay principle would apply and that participants could face disciplinary action. He also warned against the intimidation of those who did not want to participate.

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) spokesperson Theto Mahlakoana said in a statement that its members working in police administration would march in all provinces except Mpumalanga on Wednesday.

They would demand that the police honour an agreement to change their salary grades, and separate career planning for operational and administration staff.

About 43 000 members were expected to participate, Popcru general secretary Nkosinathi Theledi said on Monday.

Setati said the police were still in talks with the union.

He said it was not clear how many hours the marchers would be away from work.

The Inkatha Freedom Party condemned the protest and said the public would "ultimately be the ones to suffer".

IFP police spokesperson Velaphi Ndlovu said the protest was "reckless in the extreme".

"Residents depend on being able to dial 10111 to report criminal activity, but if the operators are going to be part of the protest, who will answer the calls?"

He said police should protest in a constructive manner rather than by potentially compromising the services on which communities depended.

The party called on the police and Popcru to reach an amicable solution.

Earlier, the Democratic Alliance called on national police commissioner Riah Phiyega to intervene to prevent the protest.

"We absolutely cannot have the situation where the SAPS, an essential service, is not in full operation," DA police spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard said in a statement.

"Every cog of the SAPS operation is crucial in the performance of its duty to maintain public order, protect the country from crime, and uphold and enforce the law."

Read more on:    popcru  |  police  |  da  |  ifp  |  dianne kohler barnard  |  riah phiyega  |  protests

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