Free State Police Commissioner prohibits police officers to cooperate with community

The civil rights organisation AfriForum today directed a complaint to National Police Commissioner Lt. Gen. JK Phahlane, and to the Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in the Free State, Gen. Tshumane.

This follows after the provincial commissioner today sent instructions to all cluster and station commanders and deputy provincial commissioners in the Free State stating that all members of the SAPS in the Free State are prohibited from participating in AfriForum’s Project Nehemia.

He threatened to discipline any SAPS members guilty of being part of this project.

According to Ian Cameron, Head of Community Safety at AfriForum, this statement is totally inconsistent with the provisions of the South African Police Act and with the National Policy Framework for Community Policing Forums.

“The South African Police Act (No. 68 of 1995) provides that the SAPS must accept and assist organisations such as neighbourhood watch organisations, security networks and CPFs as crime prevention initiatives, provided they all act within the framework determined by the Act,” Cameron said.

  • Refer to the South African Police Act, 1995 (Chapter 7, section 8, subsection 2).

“AfriForum discussed the project with the police at local level and at cluster level, and they planned the project together. The Provincial Commissioner’s threat to SAPS members is a blatant disregard of the South African Police Act of 1995.”

Cameron concluded by saying that Project Nehemia is a test project to give all communities in Bloemfontein the opportunity to participate as pro-active citizens in taking action against crime. He emphasised that they must be the eyes and ears of the police and that the police should in fact welcome such an initiative. All actions by participants of the project fall within the framework of the Act.


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