Milnerton Community Police Forum (CPF) chairwoman Lianne Lippert has resigned.
In a post on the Milnerton CPF Facebook page last week, Ms Lippert said she had resigned from the CPF with immediate effect.
There has been ongoing tension between Milnerton SAPS and Milnerton CPF in recent years, and it now seems to have reached boiling point (“No manpower at Milnerton SAPS”, Tabletalk, August 23).
Ms Lippert said the relationship between herself and the Milnerton SAPS station commander Brigadier Marius Stander had been strained and they had butted heads repeatedly.
“I have been blocked at every turn from fulfilling my mandate and have been accused of being untrustworthy and negative towards SAPS whenever I raise issues about Milnerton SAPS,” Ms Lippert said.
Milnerton SAPS said it had not seen the posts on social media about the resignation and neither had it received formal notification from Ms Lippert.
The process to fill the vacancy through “accepted election procedures” would be started once Ms Lippert’s resignation had been confirmed.
“In the interim, Milnerton SAPS has numerous partnerships with various role-players in the community, including those that remain on the CPF and the vice chairperson,” said Brigadier Stander.
Reagan Croeser, chairman of the Summer Greens Neighbourhood Watch, said they understood Milnerton SAPS was understaffed but it felt like the police focused on certain areas at the expense of others.
Places like Sanddrift, Phoenix and Summer Greens, he said, were often neglected.
“We have regular meetings with Brigadier Stander, but nothing is happening. I could see the CPF thing coming for a long time because there is no relationship between Milnerton CPF and Milnerton SAPS,” said Mr Croeser.
The Summer Greens watch worked well with the CPF but their relationship with Milnerton SAPS was very bad.
Milnerton CPF vice chairman Mark Lindsell is acting chairman until emergency elections are held to replace Ms Lippert.
Mr Lindsell said he would not comment until he had spoken with Ms Lippert and Brigadier Stander.
Ms Lippert said she believed the situation would not change until Milnerton SAPS reached out to the community it served.
“I do not believe that the current situation will change any time soon. A new person may take over, but real change will not happen,” she said.
She said the Milnerton precinct could learn from those around it.
“Take a look at any of the surrounding stations to see what is being accomplished when SAPS, CPFs and neighbourhood watches take hands and work together towards a common goal.”
While no longer a member of the CPF, Ms Lippert said she would continue to help neighbourhood watches in the area.