South African politics is a weird and not so wonderful thing. With riots and looting currently hitting the capital city over the political shenanigans of the ruling elite, another similar move in the Western Cape is likely to be overlooked among the trending pics of a burning Pretoria.
Deputy Police Commissioner, Jeremy Vearey, and Crime Intelligence boss, Peter Jacobs, have been abruptly removed from their posts and demoted to separate local policing clusters. Most noted for their work to “dislodge, disorganise and disrupt” gang commotion, Jeremy Vearey’s recent headline making views on the failure of the War on Drugs are not likely to have earned him any fans among the provincial and national powers who may already have a political bounty on him. “It’s no secret that Vearey has been rubbing several people up the wrong way. Continuously locking horns with the DA-led provincial government has not helped his cause either,” said one insider among other police members who are claiming that new provincial boss Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula “did not want” Vearey as part of his team.
Word is that the new man in charge has bowed under political pressure, something that has also been picked up on by on the ground police officers, “People are strategically aligning themselves, and it is the fight against crime that will ultimately suffer.”
One of the communities who’ll also be feeling the brunt of this loss will be the anti-War on Drug lobby that saw a comrade in this seasoned cop who was not afraid to speak his mind on drug law reform.
Fortunately for Vearey and Jacobs, they have not been completely left out in the cold. The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) is set to take the matter “all the way to court” and provincial secretary, Mncedisi Mbolekwa, has made their intentions crystal clear, “They are demoted for no good reason. We view this as unfair labour practice.”
“We are going to attack the employer. There is already a case involving a correctional services official which set a precedent in the Western Cape High Court.”
“An employer does have a right to move you from time to time but, by law, they must give reasons as to why a member is being moved from point A to point B. The members should also have been afforded 21 days, but they were informed last week and must start today. They had to be afforded an opportunity to explain their situations and state their case.”
The SAPS has however backed their decision and National spokeswoman Brigadier Mashadi Selepe stated, “Deployment of senior managers and members of the service at all levels is processed with the objective of ensuring service delivery improvement balancing the needs of the organisation and the affected individuals. Other influences and/or pressure from any quarter is not a consideration. Redeployment of managers and employees cannot be construed as a demotion.”
Which, if you boil it all down, sounds a lot like just another Zuma’ism.
We don’t have to cast our minds that far back to the, now dead in the ANC trenches, Nhlanhla Nene and Desmond “Weekend Special” van Rooyen fiasco to hear the similarities of the same no fuck’s given attitude. Things are heating up as we enter election season and there are certain to be many more political casualties along the way.