Metro chief murder case postponed

By Drum Digital
07 December 2012

Ekurhuleni metro police chief Hlula Msimang appeared in the Wynberg Regional Court on Friday in connection with a murder charge, the Independent Police Investigate Directorate (Ipid) said.

"The matter was postponed to February 8 to give them time to make representations to the National Director of Public Prosecutions," spokesman Moses Dlamini said.

"They want the matter to be converted from [a] murder [case] to an inquest."

Dlamini could not give more details about the case.

The Star newspaper on Friday reported that the case related to a shooting in Johannesburg a few months ago.

Mayoral spokesman Zweli Dlamini told the newspaper that Msimang had not been suspended.

"He's at work. He has not been charged with anything," said Dlamini.

The Democratic Alliance said the Johannesburg mayor and the MMC for community safety needed to explain the appointment of Msimang as head of public safety in the city.

DA spokesman Mervyn Cirota said although Msimang was considered innocent until the entire legal process was exhausted, the decision should be carefully examined.

"Council officials must explain whether they were aware of these murder charges at the time of his appointment, as well as how the elective process was conducted," Cirota said.

"Msimang does not have a good track record in his current position as head of police in Ekurhuleni. In fact, reports suggest an under-performing chief, who at one stage was refused access to the Section 79 Safety Committee due to non-performance."

The DA said Msimang's appointment should be withdrawn pending the outcome of the investigation and trial.

However, Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau's spokesman Fred Mokoko, said the DA should raise the questions in council meetings.

"All appointments are approved by the council," he said.

"The DA have an opportunity to interact in council as both the mayor and MMC go to council. They should raise their questions there."

-Sapa

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