POPCRU demands consultation on government ministerial posts

Popcru demands consultation on GNU ministerial posts Picture: Siyabulela Duda

Popcru demands consultation on GNU ministerial posts Picture: Siyabulela Duda

Published Jun 12, 2024


The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) is demanding to be consulted before ministers are appointed into key positions, as coalition talks continue amid plans to install a Government of National Unity or GNU.

Popcru is also calling for the portfolio of Justice and Correctional Services to be divided so those elected officials can better focus on each area.

In a statement issued this week, the union said given the formidable challenges and high crime rates facing law enforcement, the cluster urgently needs an experienced government who understands the criminal justice environment and systems.

"We need leaders with whom we can engage and partner, and who understand the issues at play, so that we can drive progress and strengthen the fight against crime. It is time for South Africa to step forward, not backward, which requires calm, focused, true leadership," said Popcru president, Thulani Ngwenya.

Ngwenya said they want to be consulted with before and not after new ministers are appointed.

"So we can share our guidance on how we envisage the future of their departments," he added.

Following confirmation that police minister, Bheki Cele, will not be elected into office in the new government, Popcru said they are advocating for current Justice and Correctional Services minister, Ronald Lamola, to be reappointed in his same portfolio.

He said the union has worked closely with Lamola and has made great strides in self-sustainability programmes at prisons.

Popcru also wants a comprehensive transition of duties between outgoing and incoming ministers to prevent loss of progress, and they want new ministers to meet for a round-table discussion on their plans for the criminal justice system.

"We don’t want to keep starting fresh with new ministers. We want to continue advancing our work for the benefit of all South Africans, which means that outgoing officials must ensure that there is a proper handover. They must remember that they may be leaving their office, but the work of their office remains," Ngwenya said.

He called for a meeting with the official who will take up the Minister of Transport portfolio regarding traffic police, as well as officials from the departments of Public Works, Safety and Liaison, Community Safety and the Western Cape's Department of Monitoring.

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