New sheriff in the ’Plain

Newly appointed acting station commander for Mitchells Plain police station, Colonel Jacobus Philip Fredericks.

Newly appointed acting station commander for Mitchell’s Plain police station, Colonel Jacobus Philip Fredericks, has his work cut out for him with concerns that the absence of station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam, following his second suspension, is impacting on service delivery.

Brigadier Goolam was suspended on Thursday April 26 for two months without pay.

Brigadier Goolam and 13 other police officers were suspended last year when the station was in the spotlight for the disappearance of 15 state-issued 9mm pistols firearms from the station in August (“Missing guns probe”, Plainsman, September 20 2017).

Brigadier Goolam and his suspended officers, however, returned to work on November 23 last year. The Plainsman reported that two of the 15 were recovered and two arrests have been made in connection with the missing guns (“Suspended cops back on the beat”, Plainsman, November 29 2017).

Speaking to the Plainsman then about the suspension, Brigadier Goolam said throughout his 35 years in SAPS, he has never been suspended.

Ashley Potts, Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (CPF) spokesman, wrote on the Mitchellsplain Cpf Facebook page on Sunday May 13 that Brigadier Goolam “was suspended without regard for the impact on crime in our community”.

He said the brigadier’s second suspension related to the brigadier possibly talking to the media about his first suspension in November last year. “Our structures are suffering based on an internal SAPS hearing which is based on hearsay. Mitchell’s Plain CPF and the safety structures are calling for the immediate return of our SAPS leader,” he posted.

Abie Isaacs, chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain CPF, told the Plainsman on Thursday May 10 that they did not take a stance or got involved with SAPS’ internal matters the first time round but they could not remain silent if it affected service delivery.

The Plainsman contacted the provincial police communications office to get more information about Brigadier Goolam’s second suspension, but was told it is an internal matter between employer and employee.

Captain Ian Williams, Mitchell’s Plain police station spokesman, said all queries and concerns must be reported to the police station and brought to the attention of Colonel Fredericks.

“The station has been fulfilling its mandate in terms of its policing activities and functions. Service delivery is taking place as per usual,” said Captain Williams in reply to an emailed Plainsman media enquiry. He said Colonel Fredericks is due to meet with the CPF this week.

Resident Jerome September wrote in the Facebook group page Waar brandit inni Plain on Sunday April 29, asking: “Wat gaan aan by Mitchell’s plain police station.”

Mr September said the last time Brigadier Goolam was suspended there were 22 murders in Mitchell’s Plain in one month.

The Plainsman asked Captain Williams how many murders were reported for April, and he responded that 10 murder cases were reported.