Police union angered at undressing of officers over theft of suspects’ money

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    By Staff Reporter

     

    South African police officers are up in arms against a Gauteng Police commander who ordered the undressing of some law enforcement officers to search if they had stolen suspects’ money.

     

    South African Policing Union (SAPU) deputy chairperson at the Gautent Provincial office, Peter Ntsime demanded in a press release that the Dobsonville Police Station commander must be removed by the Gauteng Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt.Gen Deliwe De Lange, for humiliating junior police officers in that manner.

     

    “The South African Policing Union calls upon Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe De Lange to swiftly remove the Dobsonville Police Station Commissioner who has humiliated a group of police officers. It came to our attention that this station commander succumbed to public pressure or wanted to receive public sympathy through humiliating police officers,” Ntsime stated. “It is alleged these police officers were accused of stealing money from suspects. The station commander it is alleged he ordered the body search of the police officers in front of the suspects where members were stripped naked in front of the suspects. This is the worst form of humiliation. This kind of behaviour was last witnessed during the slavery days centuries ago.”

     

    He argued that the police commander must be removed to ensure a smooth and independent investigation.

     

    “We call upon Lieutenant-General De Lange to probe the circumstances surrounding this incident. For an independent and objective process, we call for the removal of the station commander so as not to jeopardise or intimidate witnesses. We are calling for a speedy process because members are already calling for a total shut down of the police station if the station commander is allowed to continue serving at the Dobsonville Police Station,” the media statement read. “SAPU, as a responsible organisation won’t like to compromise service delivery. It is precisely that principle that we call for the provincial commissioner to act with speed so that the situation in the police station remains under control.”

     

    Ntsime claimed some of the affected officers were contemplating suicide.

     

    “Some of the humiliated members are suicidal as we speak. We have not seen the Health and Wellness Programme coming to the rescue of those members. They had to consult privately and pay from their own pockets. We have complained to no avail about the ineffectiveness of the SAPS Health and Wellness Programme. They (police officers) have never been in such a traumatic environment,” Ntsime stated further. “The station commander sacrificed one of his own in order to win favour with the public. Even if the police officials were on the wrong, the station commander knows due processes to be followed in such instances. We are not by any means condoning acts of criminality by police officials. SAPU is totally opposed to the notion of the law of the jungle. We are not calling for preferential treatment of the police officers. If they are on the wrong like all South Africans, they will have to face the full might of the law.”

     

    But Ntsime indicated that should the police commander be found wanting after the independent investigation, he must be made to face the music as well.

     

    “SAPU will never allow a situation where our members are treated as half-humans during this current democratic dispensation that is founded on the spirit of human rights,” SAPU vowed.

     

     

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