Graeme Hosken and Quinton Mtyala
RESTRUCTURING and alleged mismanagement of deployments in the police have resulted in up to 14000 officers being placed in non-existent or already filled posts.
This is revealed in a leaked internal police staffing report. The report paints a picture of a bloated police top structure that is costing taxpayers millions of rands while police stations are understaffed.
A senior ANC MP has called for police salaries and promotions to be curbed by the Department of Public Service and Administration.
Annelize van Wyk, chairwoman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on policing, said yesterday: "Promotions in the police have been arbitrary. We need a more formalised structure."
National police commissioner Riah Phiyega is expected to appear in parliament tomorrow to brief MPs on restructuring and expenditure. Although Phiyega had cut the number of deputy national commissioners from six to three, Van Wyk said, questions remained about where the deputies would be placed.
Phiyega earns R1.6-million a year and her deputies are paid R1.2-million each.
The nine provincial commissioners earn about R1.1-million each.
SA Police Union president Mpho Kwinika said that though Phiyega had fewer deputies, she had seven senior officers reporting to her.
"[She] has 'parked' senior officers meant to give her support, bringing in additional people who occupy either non-existent positions or posts already occupied.
"This undermines the SAPS's command and control structures," Kwinika said.
"Though everyone thought she was good and would use her management knowledge to slim down her office, she has instead bloated it, costing millions in salaries.
"She has done things unheard of in the public service ... [She] created deputy directors-general in her office and inflated the ranks of certain positions.
"She has created post and unit duplications with crime intelligence and presidential protection."
During the implementation in the police service of the militarised rank structure in 2011/12, more than R148-million was spent on promoting about 5000 police, the union said.
DA policing spokeswoman Diane Kohler Barnard said the portfolio committee had on several occasions raised the issues of staff deployment and the top-heavy police structure with police management.
She said "real policing" suffered because police stations were deliberately understaffed to fund a bloated head office and provincial offices.