Popcru agrees with Spear magistrate

2012-06-28 22:26

Johannesburg - Police union Popcru agreed with a Hillbrow magistrate who berated police on Thursday in a court case arising from the defacing of the controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma.

"The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union share the concern expressed by the magistrate," said spokesperson Theto Mahlakoana.

"We can't have a situation where officers halt or slow down the delivery of justice unnecessarily as expressed by the magistrate," she said.

"Popcru believes South Africans deserve an effective justice system that involves the different components of the security cluster and we cannot have a situation where one sector fails the entire machinery."

Popcru appealed to police management to tackle this concern and called on police officers themselves to deliver effective services for a secure state.

Comment from the police could not be immediately obtained.

Magistrate Johan Engelbrecht said the police had one last chance to complete their investigation or the matter would be struck from the roll.

"This situation has reached alarming proportions," he said at the appearance of the two accused in the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court.

"I have become tired of complaining about the Police Service and their conduct on a daily basis," he said, referring not just to The Spear case.

Barend la Grange and Louis Mabokela are accused of defacing artist Brett Murray's painting The Spear - an acrylic depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

It was part of Murray's Hail to the Thief II exhibition at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg.

Prosecutor Frederik Beukes said a further postponement would be necessary.

This was because the investigating officer had not complied with any of the instructions given at the previous proceedings of 23 May.

The investigating officer was also not in court, Beukes said, to which Engelbrecht replied: "Of course".

September 4 was suggested as the next court date.

Engelbrecht reacted by saying: "I am alarmed by the fact that the investigating officer has found it necessary to not make himself available today (Thursday) and not explain why he didn't comply with the prosecutor's instructions.

"My concern is that the police in this area have lost their vision and have forgotten that they are there to serve the public."

Engelbrecht said he would not hesitate to the strike the matter off the roll on 4 September if the situation remained the same.

  • - 2012-06-29 00:35

    if the magistrate strikes this case off the roll then everything would have been for nothing. this dumb idiot says he agrees with the magistrate but all they actually doing is protecting the bastards who defaced the painting in the first place. The police can't take anymore shame they are already red faced about all the shame that is going on. so if the blame is put on them for not being able to prosecute those bastards, then Zuma indirectly wins again. seems he likes to protect criminals and thieves. Birds of a feature flock together.

  • jaccil - 2012-06-29 02:42

    Empty words! There is absolutely no accountability. Who is going to hold the police accountable if they do nothing in this case: the ANC government or the president himself? There can be no justice if the system relies on incompetent police and public prosecutors who cannot be bothered to do a proper job. The citizen is twice the victim, thrice even, if you take into account the tax money wasted to pay their salaries!

  • Philip - 2012-06-29 06:59

    Pathetic, to say the least

  • zmvulane - 2012-06-29 08:07

    It's a pity how the police always blame the justice department for their own mess!! Last week I witnessed a similar incident where the magistrate asked that the investigating officer who had just left the court and booked off sick be brought back to court or charged! After thirty minutes the healthy looking s was back in court!!!Some of these guys are reaLly worthless!

  • Jannie - 2012-06-29 09:03

    convenient rather

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