The South African Policing Union (SAPU) is calling on the Department of Public Service and Administration to review as a matter of extreme urgency the policy of suspensions in the civil service.
“We have learnt with dismay and shock that the cash-strapped Department of Correctional Services has paid out nearly R1.4 million so far in salaries to axed prisons boss Xoliswa Sibeko and two senior officials,” general secretary Oscar Skommere says in a statement.
“SAPU finds it totally unacceptable that civil servants like the police when on suspension they are deprived benefits like salaries whilst high-income earners like these top officials are paid huge salaries for doing nothing. These double standards are unacceptable. We have been calling for consistency in the civil service. As a labour organisation it would have been ideal if members are suspended with benefits.
“They must be given the benefit of doubt. Many police and correctional officers have lost possessions like houses and vehicles whilst on suspension. The reinstatement of some officers and the so-called back-pay did not help to bring their lives on track.
“SAPU fully supports President Jacob Zuma’s call that the policy of suspension with benefits must be reviewed. If taxpayer’s money is to be used effectively the period of suspension should be shorter than the current one where others are on suspension even more than 36 months.
“SAPU also finds it strange that a person is suspended first then an investigation is launched later. We call upon Minister Richard Baloyi to apply fairness and consistency in the entire civil service and there must be a way of saving taxpayers money against unnecessary use,” Skommere says.
Pic: The Gauteng police head office, Parktown, Johannesburg