Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Mpumalanga safety and security MEC Siphosezwe Masango has called on the provincial police to service communities equally and without prejudice - whether they were black or white.

Masango was delivering a keynote address during the annual MEC's Excellence Awards for the best-performing police stations, individuals and community policing forums (CPFs) at Ackerville Stadium in Witbank yesterday.

He said information had surfaced that there was suspected racism allegedly being practised at certain police stations.

Without mentioning the stations by names, Masango added that those stations unfortunately received service excellence awards last year.

"Racism is a monster that has the potential to break down and destroy the work that was done by us and our predecessors.

"Racism in essence becomes an enemy of the state, and as a result it should be dealt with as a matter of urgency," Masango said.

"It is only logical that racism creates an unsustainable situation and should be exposed and disposed of."

He said it was sad that it was not only stations managed by captains and superintendents, but also stations managed by senior superintendents and higher level police, that were involved in racism.

Masango called upon the management at stations and community policing forums to work together to prevent racism from escalating as it was their core responsibility to ensure that a conducive environment within the stations and towards the public was maintained.

He, however, said the SAPS in the province had to be congratulated for the initiative to empower female station commissioners "as these initiatives were achieving positive results in general".

Masango called on all station commissioners to personally get involved in dealing with complaints related to unsatisfactory service delivery by a particular station.

"Station commissioners should also expect to be penalised in future for not providing a platform for registering complaints," said Masango.

He announced that the best overall performing station was Schoemansdal, which also scooped several other awards as the best female-managed station and with the best functioning CPF station, among others.

Other winners included Belfast, Hendrina, Secunda and White River police stations.