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  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU Northern Cape press statement on the arrest and assault of POPCRU leadership

5 December 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the Northern Cape is deeply disturbed and angered by the behaviour of the South African Police Service in Kimberley who arrested the provincial leadership of our affiliate, POPCRU on Tuesday, 04 December 2012, on the instruction of the Provincial Commissioner Mrs Basson.

Our POPCRU leadership was arrested for trespassing while they had a meeting scheduled with Mrs Basson after countless postponements as a result of her unavailability to meet with the union for the past seven months. It is unbelievable how petty our police are and how easy they can be manipulated into fighting personal battles of Mrs Basson.

We are interested to know why the Technical Response Team could be deployed to remove peaceful and unarmed leaders of POPCRU from the provincial office of the SAPS which is their workplace. Our own understanding is that the TRT is meant to be deployed into volatile situations where the lives of the people are in danger. Those workers waited peacefully for Mrs Basson to come and respond to the issues that they took up with her more than seven months ago.

To show that this TRT is not used to peaceful situation they got in there and assaulted the leadership of the union that they are supposed to be members of. Some of the individuals there were represented by the same union when they were on the verge of dismissal for misconduct. This leaves us with no choice but to conclude that they were there to impress Madam Basson with their behaviour which we will not leave unchallenged.

We are also perplexed at the arrest of POPCRU members for trespassing in their workplace. Where else will POPCRU engage with the employer if not in the workplace? This behaviour shows the high levels of arrogance by Mrs Basson and how she undermines social partners in the police service. It vindicates our long held view that the deployment of Mrs Basson as a Provincial Police Commissioner was a gross mistake by Mr Cele which needs to be corrected before the situation in the province becomes untenable.

We make our humble plea to the National Commissioner to remove Mrs Basson from the position of a provincial commissioner and deploy her to a position that will make her work less with people. She does not have good human relations which is one of the critical attributes for a person holding such a critical and delicate position. The fact that she has been refusing to engage with POPCRU as well as the Community Police Forum speaks volumes about her human relations.

The decline in the numbers of the police reservists and the high levels of demoralisation in the police as a whole in the province confirms that Mrs Basson was a wrong appointment and we do not wish her for any other province. We remain resolute that she must be released from our province and someone who understands stakeholder participation be deployed to our province. If the National Commissioner is refusing to listen to us we will take this matter to the Minister of police. We do not want Mrs Basson and we will mobilise the entire province against her if she does not leave.

For more information contact the COSATU Northern Cape Provincial Secretary, Anele Gxoyiya,@ 082 829 1961