Jeremy Vearey has caused quite a stir both online and on the ground by allegedly publicly criticising lousy governance. Is he unfairly targeted? What is his life story? Get a glimpse into the life of the former head of the detective service in the Western Cape, Major General Jeremy Vearey.
The Western Cape community is livid over the dismissal of Nelson Mandela's former bodyguard and the head of the detective service in the Western Cape. He has helped keep street gangs off the street and bring peace to the region. What is the reason for his dismissal? Is it lawful?
- Born in: Elsiesrivier, Western Cape, South Africa
- Jeremy Vearey's Age: Approx, in his fifties/early sixties
- Education: University of the Western Cape, John Ramsay Senior Secondary
- Lives in: Cape Town, Western Cape
- Occupation: Formerly worked at SAPS, as Nelson Mandela's bodyguard and as a teacher
- Spouse: Bernice Roeland
- Siblings: Merle Fortuin and Steffani Magerman
The famous police officer was born in apartheid South Africa to a politically involved family. His birthplace is Elsies River, Cape Town. His hometown is where he first came across the Black Consciousness movement (BC) and Marxism. He attended John Ramsay Senior Secondary.
As he got older, his dad went on to become a Congress fellow. He became one of the initial African National Congress (ANC) council members in the Theewaterskloof region of Genadendal, while his mother was involved in the shift from the old GAWU and in forming the SACTU with Patel. Both his parents are currently deceased.
Involvement in politics
His political history began in his hometown of Elsies River. When he was growing up in the 70s', he was mainly influenced by BC. Things began to change for him in the early 80s when Johnny Issel moved to Elsies River. The political course shifted, and there was a more substantial Congress influence. His teachers became part of the Unity Movement, and all these influences strongly impacted him.
Around 1983, he was absorbed into the uMkhonto weSizwe, where he became involved in covert operations. Here, he was exposed to authority figures who were active in the struggle. Finally, around 1985, he became a teacher in his hometown, and he offered his students an alternative form of education similar to Neville Alexander's work in the South African Council.
In 1987, he was arrested and was taken to Robben Island. One of the more disturbing things that he and his comrades in Robben Island discovered was the insular intellectual culture that came with sectarian party political politics.
Work at SAPS
Jeremy was released from prison in June 1990. He had spent a couple of years in jail, and as soon as he was out, he was taken in by the African National Congress (ANC) intelligence structures. He was given proper intelligence training and began working for them in intelligence all over South Africa. This was when he offered protection to several ANC leadership officials.
His work at the Department of Intelligence and Security (DIS) prevented infiltration into the ANC by hostile parties and other intelligence organisations. These included preventing attacks from the apartheid security forces in Kwa Zulu Natal, East Rand, and Khayalitsha. He also prevented the destabilisation of the ANC in the Western Cape through the use of street gangs.
Jeremy Vearey's qualifications
Jeremy Vearey was trained abroad. This was when the UK, US, and Canada wanted to train the South Africans involved in intelligence. They wanted people who were more ideologically grounded, and he found himself part of the group trained in the UK.
Eventually, he also went to Canada to research different policing models aside from what they had learnt in South Africa, which the ANC essentially shaped. This was how he ended up at the SAPS. Since joining the police, Vearey has been a noted anti-gang expert in the Western Cape.
Latest news on Jeremy Vearey
On June 9th 2021, there were chants outside of Parliament Hands off Jeremy Vearey now! The protesters were from all different walks of life, protesting what they term as the systematic hounding out of the service of dedicated and committed police officials. There were church leaders, community workers, activists, concerned citizens, among many other groups of people.
Major General Jeremy Vearey was dismissed less than two weeks before the protests from his supporters began. The reason given for his dismissal was for bringing the SAPS into disrepute on Facebook. The Jeremy Vearey posts in question are 8 and were posted between December 2020 and February 2021, containing links to media reports.
His swift dismissal by the National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole made many citizens from the Western Cape angry. One of those against the dismissal, Henrietta Abrahams from the Bonteheuwel Development Forum, said that:
We are finding bodies on our streets because good men like Jeremy Vearey, Andre Lincoln and the rest of them are being persecuted.
Aside from fighting the regime on social media, Vearey is married. Jeremy Vearey's wife is Bernice Roeland. The couple tied the knot on January 17th 1996. His sisters are Merle Fortuin and Steffani Magerman.
Jeremy Vearey is a man who has fought to protect his country for a long time and has been in intelligence for a big chunk of his life. Should something as small as Jeremy Vearey's Facebook account be able to bring down the intelligence officer? Engage us in the comments below.
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