VIP services angry over 'unkept SAPS promises'

Siyabonga Africa

Siyabonga Africa

Former SANDF members who are now police members of the VIP service are crying foul.

The officers, who refused to be named, said promises of higher pay and promotions have remained just that - promises.

The VIP service protects high-profile government officials, including presidents and former presidents.

An officer in the protection unit, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: "I was an MK (uMkhonto we Sizwe) cadre from 1990 and joined the army in 1996. I was transferred to the SAPS in 2005.

"Though I have more than 15 years experience I was told that I did not qualify for a raise."

The officer said he earned R8000 a month as a sergeant in the protection services and "this is equal to what I earned in the army and also what new recruits in the police get paid".

SANDF Union spokesman Pieke Greeff was livid when he heard the story.

"This is exactly what we were arguing about in 2005 when the army began the process of transferring soldiers to the police service," he said.

Greeff said the union had successfully applied for a court interdict to prevent the transfer of members.

"The interdict came into force in 2006 and if any union member was transferred in that time the police would be contravening the ruling and the involved soldier can be reinstated in the army."

Vish Naidoo of the VIP services could not be reached for comment. Major Musheko of the Department of Defence said the matter was no longer in their hands.