NEWS & ANALYSIS

Process used to establish anti-gang unit the problem – SAPU

Union welcomes chance to state its position on the unit in Parliament

SAPU to state its position on gang unit in Parliament

11 February 2019

The South African Policing Union is looking forward with keen interest to Tuesday’s parliament’s portfolio committee meeting that will evaluate the SAPS’s anti-gang strategy. The anti-gang unit that was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in November last year amid pressure to deploy specially-trained officers to tackle gangs.

We would like to express our reservations about the way the anti-gang unit was established. We want to put it categorically clear we were never opposed to the establishment of the anti-gang unit in principle. Our concerns came from the process followed to the establishment of this unit. As much as we welcome any progressive initiative to curb any criminal activity, SAPU will never accept processes that undermine collective bargaining processes.

SAPU want to set the record straight to the portfolio committee. There was an impression created that we do not want the establishment of the anti-gang unit. The establishment of a task team is a separate process from the establishment of a police unit. We are on record opposing the disbandment of specialist police units by the then national police commissioner the late Jackie Selebi.

The establishment of the anti-gang unit is long overdue. We want this anti-gang unit to be a national project rather than a provincial one. The gang are ruling people with fear in the northern areas of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, Westbury in Gauteng.  We are encouraged by the positive attitude of the portfolio committee under the chairmanship of Francois Beukman who has extended an invitation to other stakeholders including organized labour.

Issued by Tumelo Mogodiseng, General Secretary, SAPU, 11 February 2019