23 October 2017

South Africa: NEHAWU Has Lost Confidence in the Kimberly Police Station and Demads Answers From the Office of the AG

press release

The National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union [NEHAWU] has written a formal letter of complaint to the Northern Cape Provincial Commissioner, General Chivuri, about the manner in which our case was handled at the Kimberly police station.

On Friday, the 6th October 2017, we opened two criminal cases at the Kimberly Police station where we were told that we could not get a case number because their computer systems were down. We were then promised to get a case number the following Monday. Monday came and no case number was handed over to us but we were then instructed to reopen the case. We refused to open a new case as we viewed the loosing of our files as gross mishandling of our case.

We then requested an audience with the station commander to register our discomfort with how our matter was handled. Our request was ignored by the station commander thus we released a statement communicating our view to escalate the matter to IPID. To our surprise on the morning of 19th October 2017 we did receive a text message with the case number including the name of the detective assigned to the case.

What baffles us is that we were told that our files were lost and all of a sudden they mysteriously they appear and a case number is subsequently sent. This episode has really made us to lose confidence in the Kimberly police station in investigating further this matter. We are of the view that since this is an extremely serious matter and a high profile case which implicates the management of the legislature and that the matter must be handed over to the provincial office of the police for investigation.

On the other hand, the national union wrote to the Audit General to seek answers in relation to the matter of Northern Cape Legislature. This matter is in relation to the non-compliance with Section 33 of the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislature act, 2009 [Act No. 10 of 2009] by the Northern Cape Legislature. NEHAWU had already written to the AG's office to make him aware of the non-compliance by the legislature and subsequently the AG responded to us on the 10th October 2017. In response, the Auditor General assured us that the legislature had complied with all the necessary financial frameworks and regulations.

However, as the national union, we have in on good authority that the office of the AG did write to the legislature allegedly advising the management to comply with the finance legislative frameworks and regulations particularly on areas raised by NEHAWU. If this information is proven to be factual, NEHAWU in its constitutional right particularly section 32 [1] of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996 which clearly states that "everyone has the right of access to records or/and information held by the state and any information held by another person and that is required for the exercise of protection of any rights" demand to be appraised of the content of the letter the office of the AG wrote to the Northern Cape legislature.

We strongly believe that the contents of that letter has a direct bearing on our request from the office of the AG in relation to the investigation of the non-compliance by the Northern Cape legislature. We have since demanded that the office of the AG sends us the letter sent to the legislature with 48 hours upon the receipt of our letter of demand.

Failure to receive the requested information unfortunately will leave us with no choice but to consider taking the legal route and also elevating the matter to the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors [IRBA] for investigation as we are not satisfied up to so far by answers coming-out from the office of the AG.

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