Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) in the Free State has joined the call for police management to adhere to COVID-19 regulations.

Four police officers have died in the province, apparently as a result of COVID-19 related complications.

More than 30 police stations in the province were shut down after members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Provincial Popcru secretary Amelia Mahlatsi has accused police management of flouting COVID-19 protocols.

“We are also disturbed by the manner the commanders want to deal with this particular matter. They intentionally don’t want to close the station immediately when there is a positive case. What worries us again is in terms of tracing the direct contact they just apply their own mind to deal with the issue of direct contact and that particular matter is the one that also contributes to the police station closing, for example, we close the police station today and tomorrow we will have to close it again.”

Meanwhile, police management has refuted POPCRU’s claims.

National police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo says there is compliance at national, provincial and district levels.

“SAPS management has established a national and provincial steering committee which ensures among others management and containment of COVID-19 virus is in place by also ensuring PPEs are available to ensure that there is 100 percent compliance at all levels at national, provincial and district levels.”

In the video below, Police Minister Bheki Cele addresses police on well-being amid COVID-19 pandemic: