Career prospects for police severely impaired by secret promotions project – Solidarity

Movement says the non-statutory forces project (NSF) is shrouded in controversy and is not being dealt with fairly

Career prospects for police members severely impaired by NSF Project – Solidarity

22 November 2017

Trade union Solidarity today in a letter placed the acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), Lestja Morhiba, on terms regarding the continuation of Project NSF. Should Mothiba continue to promote the 628 members of the non-statutory forces (NSF) this coming Friday, or at any other date, Solidarity won’t hesitate to question the legitimacy of those promotions. 

According to Schalk de Bruin, Head of Special Projects at Solidarity, it came to light that the SAPS is currently in the process of implementing a secret project that manages the promotions and other fringe benefits of members of the non-statutory forces (former MK and APLA members). “This project, known as Project NSF (Non-Statutory Forces), is shrouded in controversy, and it is not being dealt with transparently, fairly or rationally. The process does not provide for the participation of experienced and skilled career police members, and the only criteria for participation in the project is based on political affiliation,” De Bruin said. 

This followed after Solidarity, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia), brought a formal application on 30 August 2017 for information regarding the NSF Project. De Bruin said that the application was refused on 3 November 2017, and the reason stated for the refusal was that the SAPS declared that the application for information would impair effective service delivery by the SAPS. “In addition, it was said that the project was still only in a concept phase and that our application was ‘premature’," De Bruin added.

De Bruin went on to say that on 21 November 2017, an official letter was sent to all departmental and provincial Commissioners. The letter specifically mentioned that 628 members of the non-statutory forces must meet in the SAPS Training College in Pretoria West on Friday, 24 November 2017, together with the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, to handle, among other things, the 628 members’ promotion. 

According to De Bruin, there are currently no vacant posts, which means that the cost will be added to the budget. “Despite the fact that many of the members do not have the necessary qualifications to make decisions in national interest, it will cost SAPS billions or rands that will come down to wasting of tax money,” warned De Bruin. 

“The impact of promoting NSF-members will further negatively influence the morale of career police members. Furthermore, the safety and security of the South African community is also affected by actions like these,” said De Bruin. 

“Solidarity carries the interests of all career police members at heart, and will not allow management and the Minister’s non-transparent behaviour to harm or limit hardworking and loyal SAPS members’ promotion in the workplace because of a political agenda,” De Bruin concluded. 

Issued by Francois Redelinghuys, Spokesperson, Solidarity, 22 November 2017