There are fears that crime will spiral out of control on the Cape Flats after two top crime fighters were effectively demoted from their senior management positions.
Major General Jeremy Vearey, the former deputy provincial commissioner of detective services, will now be the cluster commander of Cape Town.
His partner in fighting crime, Major General Peter Jacobs, who headed the province’s crime intelligence services, will take over as Wynberg Cluster Commander.
Some police sources believe the move was due to political pressure, while others say Vearey has been moved due to safety concerns.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has confirmed it would be challenging the demotions in court.
Popcru Provincial Secretary Mncedisi Mbolekwa told the Cape Argus there are fears that Vearey and Jacobs’ expertise “will be lost” in the larney areas they have been moved to.
He also said the move was “unfair”, as neither Vearey nor Jacobs were consulted and had received no explanation for the sudden moves.
“The members should also have been afforded 21 days, but they were informed last week and must start today [yesterday],” Mbolekwa said.
Police sources told the Cape Argus that Vearey was kicked out because the new provincial boss, Lieutenant-general Khombinkosi Jula “did not want” Vearey serving on his management structures.
An insider said the outspoken Vearey had been “locking horns” with the Democratic Alliance-led provincial government.
But a highly placed police source told the Daily Voice Vearey was not being demoted and that the move had to do with recent media reports implicating him in the underworld.
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato recently confirmed he had a sworn affidavit which claims Vearey was involved with Cape Flats gangs.
Vearey has slammed the reports as an effort to tarnish his reputation.
The cop source says the move was “for the good of the (SAPS) organisation”.
“That man was not demoted. He will still have the same rank, earn the same salary. What has changed now with this latest move is that will no longer be with Provincial,” says the source.
Vearey refused to comment on the matter, referring queries to Popcru.
National police spokesperson Brigadier Mashadi Selepe denied “outside influences” had bearing on the moves.