A directive by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula that former liberation movement fighters -- or nonstatutory force (NSF) members -- should report to him for a meeting has raised fears among the police that they will be promoted to ensure their loyalty in the run-up to the ANC's elective conference in December, Business Day reported.
The directive was reportedly issued on Monday and was sent to the police's top leadership and all provincial commanders.
Mbalula wants 628 nonstatutory forces "who are in the process of being ranked" to meet with him. They are from the former armed wings of the ANC and Azapo, who have been integrated into the police. Police sources told Business Day that there were fears that Mbalula intends promoting them to ensure they are loyal to a particular faction in December.
But Mbalula's spokesperson, Vuyo Mhaga, denied this, saying it was an ordinary meeting to continue the process of integrating the members into SAPS.
"The police have not gone through that integration like the South African National Defence Force has done. So you have to correct that abnormality," he told Business Day.
Mhaga also reportedly denied that this was to ensure their loyalty in December.
The Sunday Times reported in January that a plan to promote NSF members was seen by police officials as "kickbacks for pals". Many were reportedly being integrated into the VIP blue-lights brigades.