Station boss suspended

2008-08-18 00:00

The embattled commissioner at the Camperdown police station was served with a notice of suspension late last week.

Superintendent Vusumuzi Guliwe has been given seven days to defend himself against the suspension.

The Witness understands the intention to suspend Guliwe follows allegations that he has lost the respect of his subordinates, and control of the police station.

Sources said he runs the police station with an iron fist, and he has been accused on a number of occasions of insulting his junior colleagues in front of members of the public.

It is alleged that on August 8, an inspector had his firearm removed after a confrontation with Guliwe. The row allegedly happened after senior officers in Pietermaritzburg suspected the officer might shoot Guliwe. The inspector has since been transferred to Pietermaritzburg Central police station.

Last year another inspector laid a charge of crimen injuria against Guliwe.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said Guliwe has not been formally charged.

However, an officer at the police station said Guliwe has a crimen injuria case, which he allegedly committed late last year, pending before the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

Guliwe allegedly had a heated confrontation with an inspector in front of a person who had gone to the station to lay a charge on December 4.

“He pushed the inspector and called him names. It was really embarrassing,” said another police source.

After the crimen injuria charge was laid, Guliwe allegedly confiscated the docket and kept it until April.

“The inspector referred the matter to the ICD [Independent Complaints Directorate], but Guliwe refused to hand the docket over to the ICD,” said the source.

Another inspector, who is said to be Guliwe’s confidant, faces a charge of defeating the ends of justice after he allegedly tried to cover up for Guliwe.

Last month The Witness ran a story about a woman inspector who accused Guliwe of insulting her in front of other officers. The inspector was among many calling for his transfer from the station.

An officer at the station said Guliwe’s suspension is long overdue. “If it was not for his connection with high authorities in Pietermaritzburg, he would have been kicked out of the station months ago,” said the police officer.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Jay Naicker said the province’s police headquarters is aware that there is tension at the Camperdown police station.

“The provincial commissioner (Hamilton Ngidi) said he is investigating the cause (of the fallout between Guliwe and his officers),” said Naicker.

Naicker said Ngidi has ordered him not to say anything about the notice of suspension served to Guliwe until he finishes his investigation.

Naicker confirmed that Guliwe is facing a crimen injuria charge, which was committed on December 5.

bhans@witness.co.za

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