Redeployed Roos not happy, hears Labour Court

Police are looking for a head of a headless man.

Police are looking for a head of a headless man.

Colonel Kobus Roos was not happy in the auditing job the SA Police Service redeployed him to, the Labour Court in Johannesburg heard on Monday.

“[The job] is not at the same level. It’s much lower-level auditing,” he said. Roos used to work in the internal auditing unit of crime intelligence. He was then moved to the SAPS head office to audit police stations in Gauteng.

Trade union Solidarity is representing Roos in his effort to have police move him to a similar position in crime intelligence. Having worked for the police for 26 years, he was demoted by former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli after he exposed corruption in the crime intelligence unit. Mdluli removed Roos from his position as head of internal audit and placed him in the inspectorate and evaluation division — a post the union said was redundant.

In April, the labour court ordered police to move Roos to a post similar to the one he had held before his demotion. The court ordered police to pay Roos R156,250 in compensation, plus costs. Following the order, Roos was moved to the internal auditing department at head office, and not within crime intelligence. Roos and Solidarity are arguing that there was a position available in crime intelligence’s internal auditing office.

Testifying on Monday, Roos said his new job was at a much lower level. Although he retained his rank of colonel he had to share an office with a junior employee and lost the benefit of using a state car. Roos said he had documents proving there were three positions in crime intelligence’s internal auditing unit.

However, William Mokhari, for the police, argued this was not the case. He said according to the court order handed down in April a position did not have to be created for Roos. Roos and Solidarity’s centre for fair labour practices head Dirk Groenewald both testified that an SAPS official told them Roos was not redeployed to crime intelligence because it was a decision taken by police commissioner Riah Phiyega and could not be changed. Mokhari said the officer would deny ever saying this.

Roos felt Phiyega could move him into any police unit. He said a resource allocation guideline proved there was a job for him in crime intelligence’s internal audit unit. Mokhari argued the document was a “wish list”. “The document was not signed. This was simply a draft, and being a draft it was not approved,” he said. Roos disagreed, saying the document had been used to audit posts in the police.

The case continues on Tuesday.

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