Friday, November 28, 2008

Eastern Cape police redeploying skills to KFC drive-through queue

Police officials in the Eastern Cape say they have taken note of Parliament's recent finding that the province has the worst police force in the country. However they have now admitted that they have lost the notes that were taken, and the only constable trained to write new ones is not yet back from patrolling the KFC drive-through in Alice.

The embattled province finished last in the Parliamentary overview of the quality of the country's policing, fairing slightly worse than Mpumalanga which has no police whatsoever.

Speaking to journalists this morning Safety and Security MEC for the Eastern Cape, Caligula Mbete, said she and her staff had taken note of Parliament's indictment of her ministry, but said that the notes had been subsequently lost.

"We put them in a filing cabinet which has given us lots of trouble in the past in that any document you put into it always goes missing," she said.

"It is like a magical filing cabinet."

She conceded that it had been a mistake to put the notes in a magical filing cabinet that made documents disappear, but said that it could have been worse.

"That's what you learn in the Eastern Cape. It can always be worse. And it often is."

She explained that the police force's Spelling Constable – an officer specifically tasked with the difficult assignment of spelling entire words correctly – had been summoned to write new notes, but that he was not yet finished patrolling various fast-food drive-throughs and would only be back once his one-hour lunch break finished some time in the next three days.

However she said that despite the setbacks the Eastern Cape police was still trying to carry out its mandate of "Batho-pele", or "people first".

"That's our watchword," she said. "People first. They're usually local politicians, those people. Then senior officers second. Then constables. Then criminals. And finally victims, if we haven't put the dockets in the magical filing cabinet."

She rejected Parliament's accusation that the capacity of station commanders was questionable.

"They have immense capacity," she said. "Just yesterday I watched four of them eat four entire quiches at a teambuilding retreat."

She also denied the allegation that the province's police stations were crippled by absenteeism.

"We don't use that ugly word in the new South Africa," she said. "It's not 'cripple', it's 'physically challenged'. If you want to make elitist judgments at least say that our stations are physically challenged by absenteeism.

"And frankly our officers are only absent from work. They're definitely somewhere else. So really they have just redeployed their skills."

Asked where they were, she said that most liked to redeploy their skills at drive-throughs.

However she denied that such redeployments had left with province with unacceptably low response times.

"Yes, response times range between three and four hours. But once we answer the phone we are there in under an hour, depending on how quickly the McNuggets are ready," she said.

2 Opinion(s):

Stupid said...

Thanks for a good laugh. A little humour is just what is needed to get over the seriousness of life in SA..

Loggi said...

My pleasure Stupid