DA condemns police officer stay-away in Lamontville

Democratic Alliance media statement by  Rishigen Viranna, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety

 

DA condemns police officer stay-away in Lamontville

 

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal strongly condemns the hostile situation at Lamontville police station where police officers have embarked on a stay away.

In an unprecedented move, twenty Charge Office officers and administrative staff have taken sick leave since 9 January 2017. The station management had informed the DA in 2016 that they were working towards resolving the various grievances that had been raised by the police officers.

It is not clear what triggered this stay away or whether any notice was tendered by the concerned police officers. While we respect the right of the police officers to raise grievances about their working conditions, we take exception to a situation where they neglect their responsibility to serve and protect communities.

Of particular concern is that the Lamontville police station registered 1074 murders, sexual and attempted murder offences. In 2016, the figure went up to 1080.

No police officer, who took a pledge to serve and protect, should neglect their important duties. The police provide an essential service which means they are not allowed to go on strike. We call for an immediate investigation into the conduct of these ‘striking’ police officers. Anyone found guilty should face a disciplinary process.

Reports indicate that police officers from surrounding areas have been drafted to fill the gap left by the striking police officers. This places unnecessary pressure on the already overburdened police system and has detrimental consequences on crime fighting in other communities.

The DA will be writing to the MEC OF Safety and Security MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda, to request an urgent intervention to resolve this impasse. He needs to condemn this stay away as a way of dealing with internal issues. He also needs to engage with asenior station and police officials to resolve their concerns.

The DA wants to help build a South Africa where every person feels safe, including our hard working and courageous police officers. We trust everything possible will now be done to ensure that this can now happen.

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