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20 Jan 2009 12:03
Lack of cooperation between the police and the Scorpions in criminal investigations is unconstitutional, a police labour union said on Tuesday.
The South African Police Union was commenting on the recent alleged failure by senior police officials to cooperate with Scorpions investigators in the criminal investigation of suspended police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi.
In a statement issued by the union’s acting general secretary Oscar Skommere, he questioned the level of respect given by some senior police officers to the principle of equality before the law.
He warned that if the allegation was true, it would also raise questions about senior police officers’ respect for the constitution.
“It also raises questions about their seriousness in upholding their oath to office,” Skommere said.
He added that the conduct of the police warranted that Parliament investigate them to ensure that those implicated in the allegation were prosecuted.
“We believe that it is important for the police to demonstrate to every citizen in this country what it means to cooperate with investigators during investigations.
“The failure to cooperate with investigators sends a wrong message to communities that it is right not to cooperate with police investigations,” he said.
Skommere said if senior police officers involved in the alleged lack of cooperation were not challenged there would be “dire consequences” in investigations and the prosecution of suspected criminals.
“We therefore call upon police officers to cooperate so that Selebi can answer to the allegations before him.
“We call upon senior police officers to uphold the constitution and the laws of this country,” he said.—Sapa
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