Police union urges members to do poll duty

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

The South African Police Union has called on its members who are unhappy with the SAPS's overtime allowances at special events to heed the call of effective policing today, for the country's sake.

The union's call comes after some of its members threatened to stay away from voting stations as 23million South Africans go to the polls today.

Union (Sapu) spokesperson Bernard Machakela said: "We will do it for the country. We received calls from members who were unhappy about the agreement on special daily overtime allowance for policing at special events.

"We are calling on our members to sacrifice for the sake of the country because we sense that some members might refuse to engage in overtime duties at this critical moment when police officers are most needed."

The union has about 65000 members.

Machakela said this was a critical moment in the history of South Africa as there are general elections today, the Confederations Cup in June and the World Cup next year.

"Sapu would like to assure the public that we will do everything in our power to make sure our members act in a responsible manner."

He said the union had received calls from unhappy members pertaining the recent signing of Agreement 4/2009 "which we feel will leave our members worse off".

"Sapu has not signed the agreement, as it is taking away benefits from our members. We will take the matter to arbitration.

"The police are earning peanuts, it is even worse now that the overtime payment is going to be cut down, he said."