More than 600 former members of the non-statutory forces – some of whom were as young as 18 in 1994 – are now being promoted in the SAPS as “veterans” under highly secret circumstances. “It simply does not make sense. This is blatant police capture,” Dr Dirk Hermann, Solidarity’s Chief Executive, said at a recent press conference.
“Some of these individuals will skip five ranks from that of Sergeant to that of Brigadier, and all the while, thousands of good and loyal police officials – black and white – holding better qualifications are not being promoted”.
After Rapport and City Press recently reported on the handing on a plate of senior ranks to “NSF” members, Solidarity has been virtually inundated by information from members.
According to Solidarity Deputy Chief Executive Johan Kruger, it is becoming clearer by the day that the NSF project is a cover to promote cadres throughout various ranks so as to capture senior ranks in the SAPS. “Hundreds of persons who are now in line for promotion have barely turned 18 in 1994, or have only turned 18 after the political transition in. They are the ones who are now being regarded as war veterans and who, in certain cases, will skip five ranks to be promoted to the ranks of senior officers,” Kruger explained.
The most absurd recommendation pertains to a lady currently holding the rank of Sergeant (the second lowest rank in the SAPS). This lady has been recommended for promotion to the rank of Brigadier (the fourth highest rank in the SAPS). The lady only has a matric qualification. She is 42 years of age and is believed to have been an NSF member between 1992 and 1996 – which means she must have been 14 when she joined the non-statutory forces. During the four years in which she is believed to have served in the NSF she nonetheless managed to write her matric in 1995. As from 1996 she disappeared from the radar and it was only in in 2009 that she was appointed as a Sergeant in the SAPS.
At the moment, the lady is working in the VIP environment where she is performing static guard duties. From the information that has been obtained it is clear that the lady has no specialised training, nor does she have any scarce skills. “It is totally unclear on what merit the Re-Ranking Committee’s recommendation for appointment to this senior rank is based,” Kruger said.
Information at Solidarity’s disposal confirms the ages of the persons on the list for promotion, as follows:
51 persons are 45 (born in 1973);
45 persons are 44 (born in 1974);
28 persons are 43 (born in 1975);
30 persons are 42 (born in 1976);
8 persons are 41 (born in 1977);
6 persons are 40 (born in 1978);
2 persons are 39 (born in 1979).
“How these persons could possibly be described as NSF members at all, and how they qualify for those improper promotions defy reason,” Kruger said.
Thousands of Solidarity members and other SAPS members of the same age who have been SAPS members back at the time of the political transition in 1994, are not in line for the NSF promotions. Instead, they have to remain in their existing ranks, ranks they have had for many years. They have to make every effort to be promoted, usually without success. It is only by way of exception that promotion comes their way.
Of the 601 names on the list the following number of promotions have become known:
- A total of 33 persons who have retired (at the normal retirement age 60) are recommended for promotion even though they are not members of the SAPS anymore;
- Five persons who were medically boarded (in other words, they have been retired) are recommended for promotion, even though they are no longer with the SAPS;
- A total of 28 persons who have retired from the Service in terms of section 35 of the Police Act (in other words, they have received so-called golden handshakes) have been recommended for promotion even though they are no longer in the SAPS’s employ;
- The names of 16 persons who have died appear among those listed and they are being recommended for promotion;
- Also on the list are the names of six persons who were dishonourably discharged (having faced disciplinary enquiry and having been punished) Yet, they are recommended for promotion even though they are no longer in the employ of the SAPS;
- The names of 15 persons who have resigned voluntarily also appear on the list. They are being recommended for promotion even though they are not in the employ of the SAPS anymore.
Additional key information:
The total SAPS budget is R87 025 128 000, and the total staff complement is 194 605.
The budget is allocated as follows:
Vispol (This division is responsible for crime prevention)
R44 100 008 000 (102 061 members); average budget per member R432 094 (salaries excluded)
Detective Service (This division is responsible for crime investigation)
R17 934 597 000 (39 070 members); average budget per member R459 037 (salaries excluded)
Crime Intelligence (The gathering of information for prevention and investigative purposes)
R3 546 032 000 (9 153 members); average budget per member R387 417 (salaries excluded)
Solidarity will bring an urgent court application after the SAPS failed to comply with its demands by Tuesday 6 November, the deadline set for it to do so. In terms of the demands all promotions that are being made in accordance with the project (which has been in full swing since 1 November) be suspended until Solidarity’s application has been finalised by the High Court.
“It is in the interest of our members, and it is in the national interest that the NSF project be revised. It is a project that is nothing but a politically motivated one and it is to the detriment of the careers of ordinary members who cannot apply for those positions. At the same time, the trust of ordinary citizens in an impartial SAPS that maintains law and order was hurt even more, and hopes have been dashed,” Kruger added.
Hermann is of the opinion that if Solidarity does not react to these promotions, they will allow a pillar of the country’s democracy – an effective police force – to be undermined. “Everyone in South Africa, regardless of political affiliation, race or background, must stand together to stop these promotions.”