Disabled police detective and single-parent Brad Bennetts was summarily fired for supporting two colleagues who were unfairly suspended without pay after an infamous road-rage confrontation with Winnie Mandela. http://bit.ly/knTswR
support Brad Bennetts face book page: http://on.fb.me/jKUP65
The SA Institute for Race Relations warned afterwards that ‘the behaviour of senior managers in the South African Police Force, around the Winnie Mandela incident, damages police morale, the rule of law, and the fight against crime.”
Warrant officer Jannie Odendaal and his colleague Abel Twala have not had a cent of pay ever since. Their ‘crime?” They dared to pull over the high-speed luxury-Mercedes with the blinded windows which was carrying Winnie and her two bodyguards on the M1 highway near Sandton. Even when she climbed from the car, Odendaal didn’t ‘recognise the old woman as Winnie Mandela,’ he has told his trade-union representatives in a statement (published in full below). Even so, he would still have pulled them over because of the vehicle’s erratic, very high-speed driving in a busy residential area, he said. Mandela and one of her body-guards flew into a rage, shouting racist abuse, cursing, and showing utter contempt and no respect for their uniforms…’ the police officers said.The two police-officers and their families have been struggling to survive without pay ever since after Winnie Mandela wreaked her vengeance upon them: demanding through the Gauteng police-chief Petros to have them fired. Listen to Jannie Odendaal’s description of Winnie’s road-rage – in Afrikaans (the transcript in English is published underneath this article:
And now this road-rage incident has claimed four more victims: this week the single-parent, disabled warrant-officer Brad Bennetts, 36, was fired outright. The detective with 18 years service became disabled in 2004 after breaking his back when the motorcycle-cop was forced off the road by a criminal. He has since then rehabilitated to such an extent that he can do his work on crutches. He never received any compensation for the injuries he sustained. Bennetts supports his little daughter and his parents who are living with him. Bennetts ‘crime?” He had written in a face book message on Feb 14 2011 on the “We Support Jannie Odendaal’ page, without mentioning his police-link:
- ” General Petros you have made many enemies and you aren’t even here for a year. Your time will come and then we will so how many people stand behind you like we are now standing behind Jannie.’ 14 Feb. And his comment then was republished the next day in The Star in an article describing the road-rage incident- again without mentioning his police-link. http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Ontslaan-na-kritiek-op-baas-20110621
Bennetts was dragged into an internal hearing about his comment and summarily fired afterwards. “I presumed that I would at least receive a final warning or a written warning first.I never believed they would fire me. They told me at the hearing that ‘I could not be trusted in the police and that nobody wants to work with me any longer.’ Bennett said he is disabled and in a wheelchair ever since he was forced off the road when working as a motorcycle-policeofficer in 2004. “I was in a coma for 8 weeks and spent a long time in a wheelchair, and I now use crutches to do my work. Thus far I have never been compensated for my injury – but I continued working because I am a police officer and it makes me proud.’
He does not know how he’s going to look after the three people in his care: namely his little seven-year-old girl and his parents who live with him. “Where is a disabled police-officer going to find work? ‘ He was stationed at the Primrose police station and would have been in the police 18 years this week. The Gauteng provincial commander col Neville Malila was unmoved: commenting that the white police officer was ‘fired because of serious misbehaviour because he uttered a hidden threat against the provincial police-commissioner on a public face book page. Freedom of speech as guaranteed under our constitution is not an absolute right,’ he added. ‘in the employer-employee relationship freedom of speech rights must be weighed against the private actions of an employee and the interests of the employer.’
The police-officer’s trade union representative, Dr. Dirk Hermann, managing deputy of Solidarity.co.za, said ‘the SA Police Force is blowing a very innocent comment out of all proportions and turned it into ‘national-security issue’.The police have now made a double mistake. First they should have supported Jannie Odendaal and Twala when they were just doing their jobs: enforcing the law.
Secondly they should have shaken Bennetts’ hand for supporting his colleagues’. Bennetts only was granted ten days to lodge an appeal. Solidarity will handle his submission.
Winnie Mandela’s road-rage is claiming many victims… ‘Bring the white cop to my house to apologise’, she demanded: Madikizela-Mandela became so irate that she demanded that the SAPS chief Petros bring the ‘white cop to her house to apologise to her’. Petros apparently received this order directly from SAPS Genl. Gela – who just happens to be be his brother in law.
South African Institute of Race Relations: behaviour of senior SAPF managers damages police morale, rule of law, and fight against crime’
The South African Institute of Race Relations warned after this incident that ‘the behaviour of senior managers in the South African Police Force, around the recent Winnie Mandela incident, damages police morale, the rule of law, and the fight against crime.”The Institute’s deputy CEO, Frans Cronje, said: “Police members on the ground must be able to trust in the backing of the chain of command if they are to do their jobs effectively. In this case it appears as if the command chain has placed political considerations above its responsibility to its members. This is likely to undermine the morale not only of flying squad members around the country but also of all police officers. We therefore echo calls for an independent inquiry into events surrounding the Winnie Mandela incident. This matter goes far beyond the rights of a few officers. It goes to the heart of police effectiveness and the maintenance of the rule of law.”
“He works for the Emergency Response unit at the East Rand and has been a police-officer since 1991. It is part of his job to react to violent crimes in progress but it’s also part of his job to pull over suspect vehicles while patrolling the freeways. On December 30 he and his colleague noticed a high-speed silver Audi luxury car with tinted windows driving with bright headlights on the M7 freeway north of Golden City. They checked on the radio with the vehicle-tracker and were advised that the car had been reported stolen and was registered in the name of a company in Soweto. They didn’t know who was inside, the car had tinted windows. The police-team, driving in an unmarked Mercedes, flashed their blue-strobe lights, indicating that the driver of the silver Audi had to pull over. ‘It didn’t, we kept following it with our lights flashing but they did slow down and waved a hand-radio from the window’. Odendaal said he recognised this hand-radio: ‘it was not a police issue item and such radios are often used in armed robberies, so we decided to keep following them and called in for backup from the dog-patrol unit’. The Audi finally stopped at the Jan Smuts avenue turnoff, pointing in the direction of Sandton. Odendaal said he and his colleague got out of their vehicle, with his colleague, as is routine, backing him up with an R1 rifle. The rifle was pointed downwards, he said. Odendaal said as he tapped on the car-boot, it was opened from the inside, while a ‘burly, strong-looking’ male passenger jumped from the Audi and immediately accosted him, pushing the officer on the chest and shouting at him, telling him that Mrs Mandela was in the car, that ‘they weren’t allowed to search the vehicle, because this wasn’t apartheid any more’. Odendaal said he shoved the man back and then walked back to the police vehicle to fetch his Tazer. “I told the man to stop assaulting me or I would fire the Tazer’, he said. Then a second passenger, a woman who he did not immediately recognise, jumped from the car and immediately started ranting, shouting and screaming abuse at him. “I didn’t recognise her as Mrs Mandela. She had this white powder-make up all over her face and she looked much older than she does in her newspaper pictures,’ he said. Mrs Mandela and her body guard kept shouting and yelling at the police officers. Odendaal said he was indeed ‘very shocked at the lack of respect they showed for our police uniforms and the contempt with which they spoke to us.’ Then the driver got out of the Audi too and Odendaal started exchanging information with him, both men were calm. He said the driver was ‘courteous and calm at all times’. While Odendaal was speaking to the driver, telling him that the police-team had to search the car, as those were Genl. Petros’ orders, Mrs Mandela yelled at the driver to ‘stop this at once, everyone got back into the Audi and they drove off. “ Odendaal said they continued to follow the car until they received confirmation that the ‘stolen-car’ warning had been withdrawn, that it was ‘sorted out’. The police-officers, including the dog-patrol unit which had joined them in the meantime, then returned to their police-station, where they filed a detailed incident report. Odendaal said he had ‘expected his commanding officers to back him up because I was doing my job’. He was shocked when they didn’t.’ (interpretation by Adriana Stuijt).
Bullying of police officers by the power-mad elite must stop
Solidarity trade union’s spokesman Dirk Hermann at that time ‘warned the Mandela-clan and her aggressive body guards to leave the young cop alone. Solidarity stands 100 percent behind our member and will not allow him to be bullied.’
Hermann: “We ordered our legal team to provide their full support to Odendaal if the SAPS continues with its ‘bullying tactics’ against this police-officer. We are also preparing criminal charges against Madikizela-Mandela’s bodyguards. This involves assault, crimen injuria and attempts to divert the course of justice. We cannot allow that ordinary citizens are pushed around like this by the political elite and organisations. We plan to push back. On the one side we stand up for this one member but on the other side we also stand up to fight on behalf of every defenceless individual against the power-mad elite. In a healthy democracy ordinary citizens receive protection and we plan to protect this important aspect of our democracy.’