News24

Whistle-blower's redeployment inadequate - group

2014-08-25 16:34

Johannesburg - Solidarity wants a contempt of court order against the police for failing to correctly redeploy a whistle-blower demoted by ex-crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

"The labour court will hear the application on the 17th of October," Solidarity's head of fair labour practice Dirk Groenewald said.

Mdluli demoted Colonel Kobus Roos from his position as head of internal audit, to the inspectorate and evaluation division of the unit.

This was after he had exposed corruption in the crime intelligence unit, according to Solidarity, which successfully fought his redeployment in court.

Groenewald said the police did not abide by the court order and that was why it had lodged an application for an order of contempt of court.

The respondents were the police commissioner General Riah Phiyega, the police minister and the SA Police Service.

The union was waiting to see if the police opposed the application.

In April, the Labour Court in Johannesburg ordered the police to redeploy Roos to a similar position in the crime intelligence unit after he was transferred.

Groenewald said Roos was redeployed to the SAPS head office, while there were colonel positions open in crime intelligence.

"The police commissioner said he should be placed at head office. He is still a colonel, but he is doing the work he did 10 years ago."

Judge Robert Lagrange ruled in April that: "The respondents [the SAPS] are obliged to give preference to Roos in any application for appointment or promotion in a post reasonably acceptable to him..."

However, Phiyega insisted the police had done nothing wrong.

Her spokesperson Solomon Makgale said the application would be opposed.

"We have not received notification yet [of the application], but our view is that we have complied with the court order."

He referred to the judgment, which said Roos should be redeployed in the internal audit section of crime intelligence, or failing that in an internal audit unit of the SAPS.

"That is what we have done. Colonel Roos has been placed within internal audit at head office," said Makgale.

The initial case was heard by the labour court in February.

Compensation

Lagrange also ruled that "the respondents must pay Roos compensation under s194 (4) of the LRA [Labour Relations Act] in the amount of R156 250... within 14 days of the date of this judgment".

Solidarity previously said the SAPS conceded before the court that it had acted unfairly against Roos and that he was entitled to be placed in a position similar to the one he had previously occupied.

It said Roos was transferred to another position by Mdluli after Roos uncovered alleged corruption in the unit.

According to the union, Mdluli had appointed Roos to investigate an account.

Roos uncovered "wide-ranging" alleged corruption in the unit, and had disclosed allegations and proof of corruption in a protected disclosure.

Mdluli then stopped the investigation and subsequently transferred Roos to the inspectorate and evaluation division of the unit, which the union said was redundant.

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