SAPU pledges for the reinstatement of the old illegal mining special unit


South African Policing Union (SAPU) calls for the reinstating of the diamond, gold and precious stones unit within the South African Police Service (SAPS) that is experienced in combating illegal mining, rather than establishing a new specialised unit.

This after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the setup of a new specialised police unit dedicated to deal with illegal mining at the presidential Social Sector Summit in Ekurhuleni last week.

According to SAPU spokesperson, Lesiba Thobakgale, said the diamond, gold and precious stones unit was discontinued by former national police commissioner, the late Jacky Selebi.

“Selebi also closed other critical specialised units like murder and robbery, and firearms unit which were all linked to the successful eradication of illegal mining in the country,” said Thobakgale.

SAPU says new specialised unit will take time

The union is concerned about the long process to form another specialised unit, citing that the consultation of the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC) will take time. Especially during the current unrests in Kagiso.

Residents blocked all roads vowing to clamp down on the zama zamas, who they believe are responsible for a series of crimes in the area. They also blamed the lack of policing in the area of the West Rand.

“It is our strong belief that a permanent solution is needed to address this problem of illegal mining by the re-establishment of the previous diamond, gold and precious stones unit through investigative capabilities as it will close the syndicates involved in this illegal activity,” Thobakgale added.

The union also pledged for the re-establishment of the firearm, murder and robbery units to scourge the spate of murders which have been happening from the past month.

Thobakgale said an average of 67 murders occur on a daily basis and majority of them are firearm related.

The union is calling on the SAPS management to speed-up the reinstating of these units to help eradicate the high level of crimes in the country.

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