Sunday, 20 August 2006

An (ex) Police Reservist Speaks

This was originally posted as a comment but it is so good that it deserves greater prominence:

As a former Police reservist, I too used to be oh so positive, bright-eyed & bushy tailed like your "I'm up to my neck in pig shit but can't smell a damned thing" correspondent here.

During my eight years of service, the SAPS purposely made things difficult for reservists. As competent, motivated white cops left the force in droves, the complexion at my former station grew darker with their AA replacements.

Finally Sipho was appointed as Station Commander, and the first thing he did was to take away our bullet-proof vests. Then he started refusing us access to our SAPS-issue fire-arms and even radios, claiming he didn't "have enough" while everyone knew the safe contained adequate supplies.

We had meetings with him, partcularly when an on-duty reservist was shot dead (he would have lived had he worn a vest) and came away convinced that this man held a deep-seated, burning hatred for all whites, which he didn't hide very well.

But we soldiered on, acting on tip-offs from informants & the community at large and arresting violent criminals.

The final straw came when we obtained info on a car theft & hijack syndicate operating in Midrand. Previously, some members of this gang had been arrested, only to have their dockets disappear, or their members released mysteriously within 12 hours of arrest.

We received info on the location of this gang, with the snitch also listing names of officers from that station being actively involved with the gang.

The Station commander called us in, accused us of usurping his powers, and forbade us from acting on the info. He said that us white reservists only arrested blacks. When we pointed out that the overwhelming majority of criminals in this precinct were black, he exploded in a rage.

Incredibly, he then went on a tirade about how black people suffered while us white people lived like kings and the meeting ended rather acrimoniously.

He was later overheard making enquiries about the ID of the snitch, which was unusual. The crunch came when, ten days later, the snitch turned up dead, stabbed, beaten and his body dumped next to a major highway. I and seven other reservists resigned en masse.

To this day, I'm told the hijacking gang operates with impunity, having murdered numerous victims. Sipho the SC has been under investigation for two years, but nothing has come of it.

I know of similar cases at other police stations, especially in the Pretoria area. Last year, more than 30 reservists resigned from the Lynnwood station, also citing obstruction, and refused access to vests for no reason.

More and more, decent and duty-bound black police members are either being side-lined or even murdered by dirty cops. At this point, there are more corrupt cops than good ones. I'm convinced that especially white reservists are being pushed out to make way for members of criminal gangs, this article proves it.

This is becoming commonplace as the SAPS is increasingly being politicised and even criminalised.

So by all means, go answer phones, sweep floors or wash cop cars if it gets your rocks off. But don't be so naive to think you're making a positive contribution, as you're just being a airhead arsehole. The truth is horrifying - I have seen it first-hand, and I'm leaving for good.

God help those who cannot escape.

Brian H

Source: Why South Africa is Crap Blog

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