18 March 2019

South Africa: Police Say Operations Not Affected Following Threats of Strike Action

The South African Police Service says it is business as usual at police stations across the country.

"There is nothing out of the ordinary happening at police stations across the country," national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said on Monday.

He was responding to questions from News24 about threatened strike action by police officers.

Union members had reportedly warned that they planned to embark on strike action on Monday over long-overdue promotions.

On Thursday, Police Minister Bheki Cele assured South Africans that no officers would go on strike.

Rumours started circulating on Sunday that the strike action would go ahead.

Naidoo said the situation was being monitored.

"We started monitoring the situation yesterday [Sunday]," said Naidoo. "But if anything out of the ordinary does happen, we will take decisive action."

'A strike is a no-no'

Meanwhile, News24 reporters at two separate courts in the Western Cape - the High Court and the Cape Town Magistrate's Court - have observed a low police presence.

"A police official in the Western Cape High Court was heard telling a prosecutor that there was a shortage of police officers to conduct court duties and that they were trying to reassign duties," one reporter noted.

Another reported only seeing private security at the court and no police officers present.

At the same time, the South African Policing Union (SAPU) has said strike action for their members is a "no-no".

Union secretary general Tumelo Mogodiseng told News24 that the service police rendered was an important one that would be badly affected by strike action.

"We told our members that they should not embark on a strike, particularly an illegal strike. We are still consulting with members, but we have made it clear that a strike is a no-no," said Mogodiseng.

Cele is set to address all 1 147 station commanders across the country on Monday afternoon, as well as national and provincial management, regarding the issue of promotions.

Source: News24

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