The South African Police Union (Sapu) says the apparent suicide attempt of a Cape Town officer in Elsies River over the weekend has again thrust the issue of employee health and wellness under the spotlight.
CAPE TOWN – The South African Police Union (Sapu) says the apparent suicide attempt of a Cape Town officer in Elsies River over the weekend has again thrust the issue of employee health and wellness under the spotlight.
The official, who is now recovering in hospital, works as a VIP protection officer for Western Cape Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen.
He was at the funeral of 23-year-old law enforcement officer, Alessandro Heynes, when he apparently shot himself during funeral proceedings on Saturday.
Heynes was shot and robbed of his cell phone in Elsies River while giving someone a lift home after a friend’s matric ball about two weeks ago.
"We are quite saddened but we are not surprised because the amount of pressure that our members are faced with is quite a lot and when we look at the employee and the health and wellness of our members, indeed it is quite a concerning matter," said Sapu spokesperson Lesiba Thobakgale.
Thobakgale said that they were concerned that employee health and wellness within the SAPS has collapsed.
"Our psychiatrists and psychologists have left the South African Police Services clearly because they were militarised when they came, given ranks and when they write recommendations and they write reports, they would be undermined because somebody would look at their rank."
Thobakgale says these men and women should be treated as professionals.
"That has always been our position that we need to have the employee health and wellness team demilitarised, allow professionals to be professionals so that when they deal with issues of our members, they could be respected as professionals."
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort