Jan, for 41 years and 5 months you were involved in the South African Police service, what was your position?
I held several positions; warrant officer, patrol and explosive dog handler, shift commander, investigation officer, station commander, CSC commander, court orderly, radio control commander. I was on special duty and border duty which meant that I was away from home after I got married for nearly 2 years (all the periods roughly calculated). I was informed after a promotion on 1996-06-01, that as I am white that would be my last promotion because of their equity policy.
Please talk us through a day in the life of a policeman?
I used to wake up at 4 am to get ready for work to start day shift at 5:30 am to 6 pm. Night shift started at 5:30 pm until 6 pm.
Did you enjoy your job?
There were days that I loved my job, to be able to make a difference in someone’s life. The police sometimes made me hate my job by promoting inexperienced members and making me train them.
Why did you choose to go into police service?
I joined the police because my parents were in no position to pay for tertiary studies, it changed my whole life plan.
What was your plan?
To study Theology.
You retired in June 2015 and to date have not received your pension?
Correct, I have not received a cent.
What reason has been given for this?
They indicated that HRM George Eden Cluster, did not complete and forward all relevant Temporary Incapacity Boards for a period of 6 years due to an injury sustained on duty and all available sick leave was depleted. All relevant forms were completed and handed over personally, by me, to the relevant HRM Official after each period of absenteeism, but they were discarded. A completely new set of forms had to be completed to convene each board of inquiry. The relevant medical specialist was not at all amused.
You are obviously falling into a difficult position financially because of this situation?
Yes, it can cost me my house.
Do you think there are a lot of others in your situation?
Yes, a lot of pensioned members that are in the same or even worse situations than me and all because the HRM officials do not care a damn. It is not them that have to struggle.
It must be so disheartening to work for 41 years and be in this situation?
To suffer hardship since retiring because of some officials negligence is quite disheartening and the worst is that if I succumb before the pension is finalized, my wife will be destitute and homeless because they will take their time to finalize ensuring she has money. Our children are not in a financial position to support my wife or to give her housing. It isn’t nice to go to institutions and other people for handouts to survive.