Mitchell’s Plain residents gathered at Imperial Primary to express their dissatisfaction at the suspension of Mitchell’s Plain station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam.
The aim of the meeting, held on Saturday October 7, was to gather support for the call for his immediate reinstatement to office.
Mitchell’s Plain police station made headlines recently when 15 state-issued 9mm pistols firearms went missing from the station. This resulted in 14 police officers, including Brigadier Goolam, being suspended (“Missing guns probe”, Plainsman, September 20).
The station now has a new acting station commander – Colonel Jan Alexander – who reported for duty on Wednesday September 20 (“New sheriff in ‘Plain”, Plainsman, September 27).
A group of active community leaders started a Facebook group called “The Return of Brigadier Cass Goolam” and then formed an official committee to campaign for the brigadier’s reinstatement.
Communications manager for the committee, Ashley Potts, said on Saturday residents had come together in support of a leader who had been instrumental in the massive fight against crime in the community -“a man whose reputation speaks for itself”.
“Since Cass Goolam was appointed Brigadier over Mitchell’s Plain, he has delivered numerous successful shifts to policing through his people-centred leadership approach,” Mr Potts said, adding that brigadier Goolam had worked “around the clock to establish crime prevention structures alongside the community policing forum”.
Mr Potts said the suspension in September had left the station void of a leader who had the support of the people.
“Little effort was made to speedily resolve the case and we people of Mitchell’s Plain want Brigadier Goolam back. We call on all Mitchell’s Plain residents and leaders to stand with us in support of our appeal. “Our page aims to express our clear support to Brigadier Cass Goolam as well as inform the public of all planned action that will commence in the weeks to follow.
“We also aim to regularly update all through this page on progress of the case,” he said.
Police, however, would not be drawn on the matter. “The suspension of a member is regarded an internal process between the employee and the employer and the detail thereof is not open for discussion,” said provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut.
For details about the committee, contact Ashley Potts on 082 887 6440.