Mpumalanga police management accused of sexual harassment

15 October 2013 - 18:59 By Sapa
SAPS vehicle. File photo.
SAPS vehicle. File photo.
Image: Reuben Goldberg

Senior management within the police crime intelligence and protection services unit (Cips) in Mpumalanga have been accused of sexual harassment.

A Sapa correspondent reported on Tuesday that since 2011 the SA Police Union (Sapu) had been unsuccessfully trying to get provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Thulani Ntobela to probe the matter.

On December 1, Sapu sent a memorandum of grievances to Ntobela, detailing improper conduct by senior officers against their subordinates in the Cips unit's offices in Nelspruit.

"A high ranking official summoned a female constable to his office, where he showed her pornographic films," the memorandum reads.

"He further told the constable that the private parts in the pornographic film are the same as those of the female constable."

According to the memorandum the same official, a lieutenant, told the female constable that he had seen her in a video having sex with her boyfriend.

"The high ranking officer brushed the constable and she ran out of his office. [He] continuously phoned the constable, but she refused to go to the office again," reads the memorandum.

The constable reported the matter to her union, Sapu, and said she was no longer comfortable working under the supervision of her senior.

The memorandum further stated that the same police officer and a brigadier harassed two female constables. It stated that both female constables refused their advances, but the brigadier continued demanding sexual favours.

The alleged victims told Sapu they were no longer comfortable working with their seniors.

The Cips unit falls under the national office of the SA Police Service and is responsible for the protection of VIPs, in particular politicians.

Sapu provincial chairman Isaac Magagula said the union had reported the allegations to the provincial police commissioner, but Sapu was kept in the dark about any developments.

"We reported the incidents to the provincial commissioner. He then appointed a task team to investigate the allegations," said Magagula.

"Unfortunately as Sapu, we were not privy to the outcome of the investigation until we picked it up from the labour relations office."

Union representatives were informed by officials from the police labour relations office that the implicated managers needed a workshop on management skills. Despite the workshop there were more allegations against the members of the Cips.

Magagula noted that neither the union nor the complainants were approached to provide evidence or verify the allegations during the internal investigation.

Comment could not be obtained from national police spokesman Colonel Vish Naidoo.