SAPU members march over confusion regarding Mpumalanga provincial commissioner

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Members of the South African Police Union (SAPU) in Mpumalanga have marched to the seat of government in Mbombela to seek clarity on who is the Provincial Police Commissioner.

The members are claiming that two officials are occupying the position and both are giving out instructions.

Early this year, Daphney Manamela who has been the Provincial Commissioner was suspended following allegations of misuse of power.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria found that the reasons for her suspension were vague and that the procedure was unfair.

The court ordered for her reinstatement.

The men and women in blue put aside their police uniforms and wore their union’s colours marching to the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison.

They chanted struggle songs, waving placard demanding clarity on who is the Provincial Police Commissioner.

According to the union, Zeph Mkhwanazi who was acting while Semakaleng Manamela was suspended is still in office while Manamela has also taken office following the court decision.

The members claim that the leadership uncertainty creates confusion and there is no accountability.

They also allege that the situation has created factions within the police and dampens the staff morale.

”Now there are members who have been dismissed and the papers have been signed by the provincial commissioner who is the office today but while in the books we have the provincial commissioner who is sitting at home. So, we want clarity from the MEC that who is the provincial commissioner in our province. Because members are being charged by the commissioner who when we give the complaints to, he does not take accountability, therefore we have break ins in the station but are not properly addressed.”

SAPU national spokesperson Lesiba Thobakgale says they will escalate the matter to the National Police Commissioner, if they don’t find joy from the MEC.

“It does not need us to march to the office of the national commissioner, before we take it up with the MEC who has the political oversight. Because all of these things that are happening on his side in his knowledge but we don’t see him doing anything. If it is his responsibility, political oversight, there is an intervention that he needs to bring whether he has to go to the national commissioner or the minister, that has not been happening now don’t know where our members have to go.”

Acting Chief Director at the Department of Community, Safety, Security and Liaison Bongani Kubhayi received the memorandum on behalf of the MEC.

“I will take that memorandum to the MEC himself to look into it, it is not my space to respond to any of those issues that are there, but the MEC will surely respond to them immediately on receipt.”

The members gave the MEC for Community, Safety, Security and Liaison 14 days to respond to their grievances.