South Africa

Newsflash

Third police station in Western Cape torched – 250 dockets go up in smoke

Damage caused by a suspected arson attack on the Ravensmead Police Station. Photo: Supplied

Police in the Western Cape are investigating a case of arson after an early-morning inferno on 21 April gutted the Ravensmead detectives' offices, destroying around 250 criminal dockets and an internal server.

This is the third arson attack on SAPS premises, the other two were at Bellville and Klapmuts earlier this month. The Ravensmead building has since been declared unsafe.

Western Cape SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut confirmed to Daily Maverick the fires at Bellville and Klapmuts and added that “policing and the investigation of crime have not been affected by the incident” [at Ravensmead].

Damage caused by a suspected arson attack on the Ravensmead Police Station. Photo: Supplied

Tensions in the SAPS have been running high with threatened go-slows and strikes by members unhappy with Minister of Police, Bheki Cele’s announcement in March of police promotions dating back to 2011/2012 and that had resulted in a backlog of 69,219 promotions.

At a press conference, Cele said that the intended purpose of “addressing the long overdue promotions of eight years was aimed at improving the morale and well-being of our members, with the ultimate goal of impacting effectively and efficiently to service delivery”.

A fire also took place at the Bellville police station. Photo: Supplied

Traut, confirming the fire to Daily Maverick added “we urge that the media refrain from speculating on the motive at this sensitive stage of the investigation. Detectives are busy probing the circumstances, and we need to give space for the investigation to take place.” DM

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