Letter to the Minister

Dear Mr. Nathi,

I am a member of the SAPS with a constable rank. I have been a loyal hard-working constable for the past five years. Over these years me and my three colleagues in Crime Investigations have arrested 323 suspects with 208 ending up in prosecutions. 99 were struck off the roll when the families decided they wanted to settle them out of court and 16 are still pending and the prosecution assures us that they have a winnable case. But Mr. Nathi I’m still a constable.

I hear you talking about the new ranking system and as a member I am only worried that my dream of becoming a sergeant right away have been dashed as I need to be a Warrant Officer before that; which might take another five years. So I am likely to be a sergeant in 15 years time while I could have been one in ten, and worse under the old police system which only its ranking system you are bringing back I could have been a Lieutenant given my performance.

Under your system I know I’ll never be a General, no matter how hard I work because I don’t belong to the same political party as you. I know Commissioner, excuse me General Cele was never a policeman (rather allegedly lynched a policeman) so my prospects of being in charge of these brave uniformed men and women who most put their lives on the line are dashed right there.

Actually what you are saying is that even the constable who I graduated with, who has never arrested anyone except people caught for public drinking, who takes bribes to mediate cases and broker deals without opening a case, who sells our dockets to criminal syndicates, sells car parts from evidence kept a 13 and lends out guns from the evidence safe to criminals to commit more crimes, who is feared by the station commissioner, oops, commander by virtue of his union credentials might one day become my boss by virtue of his political affiliation.

He can sit down and do nothing but still end up a General. This Mr. Nathi, worries me a lot since it’s one of the reasons that Selebi couldn’t be arrested by us but the Scorpions (which you have since dissolved). It worries not only me but a lot of my colleagues who work hard to protect this democracy but stand no chance of being properly appraised because they don’t belong to your party.

Sir, you want to know why there is lack of discipline amongst our ranks? There are the reasons right there. Being disciplined has no rewards. Being loyal to a party has. The fact that discipline can’t buy me the General rank is reason enough for me to sell a docket, no matter what rank you give me – warrant officer or sergeant.

Rethink your strategy Mr. Nathi, if indeed discipline is the reason for this ranking system and not some sinister motive insinuated by Kasiekulture above.

Ooh sorry, I got to go, I am being called to beef up my colleagues at Protea Magistrate Court, apparently the school kids want to get Jub-Jub lynched. I would have loved to write a longer letter to you but duty calls.

Yours in Service
Disgruntled Constable

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