Dream job: Mpumalanga constable caught napping while attending arson complaint

2012-11-13 00:00

A POLICEWOMAN slept in her vehicle while her colleague took statements during an arson investigation yesterday.

Constable Patience Lethuba, a member of the uniform branch at Dullstroom in Mpumalanga, was so fast asleep she did not wake when the complainant, Raymond Cloete, took a picture of her. She napped for about 45 minutes.

Cloete, who manages the farm Santa Estates, called the police when he caught a man setting the veld alight.

He kept the man in custody while he waited for the police. Cloete said there have been numerous veld fires recently and he suspects they are being set in protest because he has declined to employ those living in a nearby informal settlement.

He said Lethuba and another constable arrived at about midday. She got out of the vehicle, listened to the complaint and then went back to the car while her colleague took statements. “After a while, I wondered where she was and went to look. She was fast asleep behind the wheel and didn’t even wake up when I took a photo. She only woke when her colleague returned, and then yawningly started the vehicle to drive off with the suspect.”

Mpumalanga police are already investigating three Ermelo officers found sleeping in the charge office during a night shift.

Police spokesperson Colonel Leonard Hlathi said Cloete’s allegations will be urgently investigated, adding that provincial commissioner General Thulani Ntobela has warned officers that sleeping on duty will not be tolerated.

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