3 May 2013
SAPU WELCOMES COMMISSIONER’S SUSPENSION
The South African Policing Union (SAPU) welcomes the suspension of Gauteng Deputy provincial commissioner Major- General Phumza Gela. Although his suspension is associated with the Gupta family fiasco, SAPU feels his suspension is long overdue.
We have long been calling for his suspension and investigation into his role in the management of police in Gauteng. We are also surprised that the provincial commissioner Lt. Gen. Mzwandile Petros was not suspended as well as chief of police in the province the buck stops with him. The suspension of General Gela will come as a relief to thousands of officers in Gauteng.
His management style was counter-productive. He misused powers and undermined labour. It was through his confrontational and arrogant management style that hundreds of officers were transferred verbally. It was General Gela who unilaterally took police vehicles from members when knocking off. His actions compromised not only the security of members but service delivery as well.
Whilst we welcome the suspension of General Gela, SAPU wants to state it categorically clear that we won’t accept any attempts to use junior officers as scapegoats in this fiasco. The SAPS as a command and control environment is well known that junior officers take orders from commanders.
We welcome the swift action by the SAPS management. We want to express our disappointment that once again the police minister instead of leading from the front was an absent minister when other ministers in the security cluster were briefing the media on the issue.