Vet the hell? Dead MK 'soldiers' to get huge SAPS pay hikes
And that's not to mention the many others who are being promoted even though they don't qualify
Dead, fired and retired police officers are among hundreds of alleged former Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and Azanian People’s Liberation Army (Apla) soldiers set to benefit from seemingly irregular promotions expected to cost taxpayers nearly R700m.
Documents in possession of the Solidarity union have revealed that between November 1 2018 and 2021, 601 low-ranking police officials will be catapulted into new senior positions where they will earn multimillion-rand salaries.
Among those who are to be promoted are: six members fired after disciplinary action;
28 who retired after receiving golden handshakes;
five who retired after they were medically boarded;
16 who are deceased;
33 who have retired after reaching the retirement age of 60 and;
15 who voluntarily resigned.
According to Solidarity, all these people, once their promotions are confirmed and signed off by police management, will have their pensions adjusted and monthly payouts increased to reflect their new positions. The families of the dead, says Solidarity, will also receive increased monthly pension payouts.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo, in an e-mailed request for comment on the promotions, said: “You may have noticed that in previous articles the SAPS has not commented on this matter. Police management has never pronounced on this matter at any stage and therefore see no reason to respond to such a query.” (See questions put to the police at the end of the article).
Solidarity said the promotions project, which they alleged was politically motivated, dated back to 2013 when former MK and Apla members, who were part of the nonstatutory forces (NSF) who had fought against the then apartheid forces, voiced their displeasure over not being placed in senior positions within the SAPS.
The SAPS, said Solidarity, had argued the promotions were done because of the valuable experience NSF members gained during the fight for democracy, which could be used to help improve service delivery.
On Wednesday, the union – armed with the personal details, including the ages of all of those set to be promoted – revealed 178 people, who were supposedly engaged in pitched battles with apartheid forces in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, were either not born, still in nappies or playing on school fields.
They used 1990 as the cutoff date, as that was the year MK was officially unbanned.
The union obtained the personal details from documents the police were forced to hand over after Solidarity successfully won an urgent court application in the Pretoria High Court in September.
Solidarity deputy chief executive Johan Kruger said, based on the ages of the 178, in 1990: 30 officers would have been 14 years old;
eight officers would have been 13 years old;
six officers would have been 12 years old; and
two officers would have been 11 years old. Kruger said if you looked at the ages of the remaining people, in the 1970s and 1980s many would either not have been born or been very young children.
“From the documents, it is clear that the entire system is being abused. If you look at the ages category on the documents, it’s clear that there are people who will benefit handsomely despite being very young children or not born at the time that they were meant to be fighting.
“There are people who will benefit from the promotions despite them having been fired, dead, given golden handshakes or retired. Basically, people who are no longer in the police will benefit from positions they have never occupied. The amount of money, which has been budgeted for these promotions, is staggering. The taxpayer, over the next three years, will have to cough up R644m to pay for these promotions.”
Kruger said they had established that out of the 601 who were to be promoted only one, a warrant officer, had turned down their promotion.
He said the process was open to corruption, which police management seemed intent on allowing to happen.
“We served the SAPS with a legal notice this week to stop the promotions until our current court review of the matter is finalised, but police management chose to ignore it. We are not surprised as they ignored our Public Access to Information Application request in August last year for the documents and our urgent court application in February for the documents.
“We will this week launch another urgent court application to have this entire mess stopped, until our review application of the promotions process is finalised.”