Jeremy Vearey approaches court after police allegedly fail to provide adequate security

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Jeremy Vearey.
Jeremy Vearey.
Yunus Mohamed, Gallo Images, Die Son
  • Axed Major-General Jeremy Vearey is still in hiding with his family.
  • He says he cannot return home after the police apparently failed to provide adequate protection in terms of a court order.
  • He's now approached the High Court again, this time to ask for Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile to be held in contempt of court.

Axed Western Cape cop Major-General Jeremy Vearey, who is presently in hiding with his family, approached the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday to ask that provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile be held in contempt of court.

This, for allegedly failing to assign him protection in terms of a previous court order.

In mid-July, the High Court ordered that two Tactical Response Team (TRT) police officers immediately be provided to Vearey at his home while he challenges his dismissal from the police.

READ | Former top cop Vearey goes into hiding, says his security has been reduced

He was also assigned four TRT members who would provide protection for him whenever he travelled.

The order was made after Vearey brought an urgent court application for his protection to be reinstated. His security was withdrawn at the end of June.

He was fired after an "expeditious" disciplinary process, which was held between April and May. It was found he had brought the police into disrepute through his posts on Facebook.

The police at the time said some of his posts were directed at national commissioner Khehla Sitole and "contained words that were considered derogatory, offensive, insulting, and disrespectful … these actions were considered a misconduct and therefore warranted a departmental action".

Contempt of court

In an affidavit filed on Tuesday, Vearey said despite the previous court order and communication to relevant police authorities, his protection had still not adequately been provided.

He asked that the court hear the case on 2 August.

Vearey said should it be found Patekile's office was in contempt of court for failing to comply with the 15 July order for security, he should be given a suspended jail term of 30 days on condition he fully complied with the order immediately.

ALSO READ | Western Cape High Court orders security for axed cop Jeremy Vearey be reinstated immediately

He added a day after Judge Vincent Saldanha ordered his protection be deployed, one of the bodyguards informed him the national police commissioner and a Brigadier Jojo of the legal department instructed that only two members be deployed.

"[The bodyguard said] that I am not allowed to be transported in a police vehicle and that they have no mandate to provide static protection at my residence 24 hours a day."

Vearey alleged security was told to work normal shift hours at his home and then had to leave.

"I therefore remain in hiding at a safe house with my family away from my residence."

He said after speaking to the bodyguard, he called a Brigadier Bornman who is in charge of provincial response services for TRT on Saturday, 17 July, two days after the court order for his security was granted.

He said:

She indicated police understand the court order. I called her again on Sunday, 18 July, she again indicated they would provide me with two static guards at my residence and four mobile members when so required.

Vearey added no one had contacted him through the day and he resorted to contacting his attorney to dispatch a letter to the state, specifically recording he was compelled to "remain in hiding at a safe house paid by friends and community leaders".

WATCH | 'Hands off Jeremy Vearey!' Supporters take to the streets over top cop's dismissal

He said no static protection had been deployed since Thursday, 23 July, and his mobile protection was also inadequate.

Vearey added this caused a delay in his preparation for arbitration, saying despite speaking to Bornman on Wednesday 21 July, who, at the time stated the police would fully comply with the court order from 15 July, "they failed again".

"I cannot expect the community leaders, my friends and colleagues to provide me and my family with safety and protection indefinitely until my protection has been reinstated. Both my legal representative and I engaged tirelessly with TRT members, their commander and the provincial commissioner to no avail."

Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa told Netwerk24 security issues for individuals were best handled between the parties.

She said there was a lot happening behind the scenes, but this could unfortunately not be discussed publicly. 

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