‘No strike,’ but hundreds of cops stay away from work

The Citizen reports that Minister of Police Bheki Cele has vowed to check why scores of police officers did not report for duty yesterday amid rumours that the police, who are essential services civil servants, were going on strike. He said at least 400 officers in the Western Cape and up to 120 in KwaZulu-Natal did not report for duty yesterday. The minister called on those who did not go to work for any other reason to return as the SA Police Service (SAPS) management was working on finding a solution to their concerns.

Cele met with more than 1,200 station commanders in an effort to find a solution to end the impasse in Centurion yesterday. He said it emerged during the meeting with station commanders that members were not happy about the level of promotions. Police officers were unhappy about backlogs in promotions after the minister last year reportedly pledged to address the backlog of over 69,000 promotions, which had been reduced to 45,000. He said it was agreed to review the promotion process to accommodate the worst affected, engage the officers involved within a week and get expert advice on how to go about the process of tackling the backlog. Cele said the experts should have completed their report within three months, but warned those officers who stayed away from work that they would be called on to explain.

by Sipho Mabena