Solidarity obtains interdict to halt controversial SAPS promotion project

2018-04-06 17:06
SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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The police's controversial non-statutory forces (NSF) project has been halted, thanks to an interdict granted in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in an urgent application which trade union Solidarity had lodged.

The court order also compelled the police to hand over project information or records to the trade union.

NSF members are police officials from the armed wings of former liberation movements, which have been integrated into the police. The project is known as the MK promotions project.

The application was lodged on behalf of the trade union's members, who are police officers and who were said to be adversely affected by the NSF project. 

In November 2017, former police minister Fikile Mbalula issued a call-up for more than 600 former freedom fighters to attend a meeting to discuss promotions.

Solidarity's head of labour law services Anton van der Bijl said they argued in court that the project was discriminatory. 

"The SAPS started that project and did not give any information regarding the project. It was quite a secretive project and that's why we launched an application to get information," Van der Bijl said.

READ: Police spooks threaten to strike

The union also sought the disclosure of the total of several SAPS employees that are recognised as NSF members. However, the court ordered that this part of the relief be referred back to the information officer. 

The court also ordered SAPS to foot Solidarity's costs in the application.

'Transparency and participation'

Solidarity deputy general secretary Schalk de Bruin said the union approached the court when it came to light that the police were continuing with the promotion of 628 Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) members, and the exclusion of 150 000 other professional police members. 

"This interdict is a massive breakthrough in our fight to protect thousands of professional, career-driven SAPS members against the illegal and discriminating project that would've put a spoke in their wheels in the future," De Bruin said.

Van der Bijl was also delighted about the verdict. 

"This verdict once again confirms that we and our members at SAPS, as the largest shareholders in a government institution like the SAPS, has the right to transparency and participation in management and management's decisions of such an institution," he said. 

He said Solidarity would "carefully monitor" the information received from SAPS, to ensure that the union was in a position to protect and promote its members' interests and rights.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele's spokesperson Nonkululeko Phokane could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    solidarity  |  saps

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