Ex-policemen will not return in big numbers

THE South African Policing Union urges the South African Police Service management not to play with people's emotions.

We have learnt that the police service intends to take in former police officers. As much as our union (Sapu) welcomes the initiative, we believe it is not realistic. It is a well-calculated public relations exercise ahead of the Fifa World Cup.

We fully support this initiative on condition that it is genuine. Most former police officers did not leave voluntarily, but were chased away by the SAPS management through frustration and lack of support.

We are not talking money, though it is well documented that the police are the lowest paid in the civil service.

This initiative would be welcomed if management showed a willingness to resolve all the issues that caused the officers, who voluntarily joined the service, to leave it before retirement age. The former officers are badly needed. They have experience and specialised skills and most of them know the job.

Sapu calls on the SAPS to come up with a concrete strategy to resolve all the issues that cause police officials to leave the service early.

The first step is a total commitment of the SAPS in the South African Sectoral Bargaining Council, where unions and management discuss issues affecting the police.

Until such time that management respects labour, the SAPS will be victims in terms of needed personnel leaving for greener pastures.

People must not get excited and think there will be large numbers of these former officers rejoining the SAPS because the conditions that made them leave persist .

Oscar Skommere, Pretoria