Three policewomen suspended for Zuma e-mail

Cape Town's Die Burger reports that three police officers in the city have been suspended from duty for “improper conduct” while on duty for circulating a doctored film poster of President “Bring me my Machine Gun” Zuma and Julius “Kill-the-Boers” Malema. Now, this seems pretty innocuous (even, lame) and I have certainly received much worse at work so I think that it could become an interesting test case for what constitutes reasonable private use of work e-mail. In many jurisdictions (including, I believe, South Africa) the right of employees to reasonable use of office facilities for private purposes has long been recognised. This would include receiving personal calls on your office telephone as well as making them and so on. With so many excellent webmail providers out there, I think it is not advisable to use an official e-mail address for a lot of personal mail (including with colleagues) and if you prefer to use a single interface for all your mail, rather forward your office e-mail to a private address. Anyway, the SA Police Service (soon to be a Force again, I believe) has a history of biting the dust in Labour Law disputes and one can only trust that the trend will persists.

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