SAPU Demands Apology from Police General for Sexist Comments

By Mvusi Ngubane    11-May-2013 08:24 UTC+02:00

The South African Policing Union (SAPU) has demanded an apology from Gauteng’s police Chief Lieutenant-General, Mzwandile Petros, for reputedly sexist remarks made earlier this week.

SAPU general secretary Oscar Skommere reported that Petros had made the comments which undermined female police officers earlier this week during a media briefing which focused on the appointment of 14 station commanders.

“To say women have themselves to blame for not being promoted because they are concentrating on their husbands and children is the worst insult to women in a democratic dispensation,” said Skommere.

Eight of the 14 commanders appointed were promoted to the ranks of colonel, the remaining six were appointed as brigadiers.

However, Skommere’s conviction strikes many that were present at the ceremony as unclear, including police spokesperson Neville Malila who announced that the majority of the appointees present were in fact female. Malila reported that 15 among the 24 promoted officers were women and added, defendingly, if Petros had indeed make the remarks, it was strange the journalists present had not picked up such statements.

“At least seven different media house(s) were present, they would not miss something like this,” said Malila who went on to declare there would be no apology from the general.

Sapu has given Petros seven days to apologise for the comments which they have referred to as uncalled-for and unacceptable.

Also in accordance to the police union, Lieutenant-General Petros owes an apology, not only to women officers, but every woman around the country is entitled to an apology as well.

“We call upon General Petros to withdraw this statement and apologise unconditionally to women officers and women in the country in general.”

The South African Policing Union has also challenged gender activists to call the general to order.

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