Batteries, tyres 'disappear' from cop cars

2013-09-23 12:02


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Durban - eThekwini metro police apparently do not have far to look to nab thieves helping themselves to car batteries and tyres from police vehicles.

Spokesperson Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi on Sunday admitted that a number of internal investigations were under way concerning the thefts at Durban Central and Albert Park.

He would not give any figures.

However, a senior officer said he has little faith that the issue will be dealt with, as the people who are supposed to report it to the safety committee failed to do so.

Batteries 'lost'

It is alleged that the officers often get away with stripping vehicles, with no explanation on how the vehicles “lose” batteries while parked on the premises.

The Witness understands a number of internal investigations were conducted, but never yielded successful results.

The senior officer, who asked not to be named, said the unit had been facing a lot of challenges for years. He said vehicles were often assigned to officers for daily operations with brand new tyres, but a few days later they had worn tyres.

“It’s clear that tyres are being stripped and sold. As officers come back to change shifts, no one notices.”

He said council vehicles parked on the premises are often found with no batteries.

Msomi admitted car tyres and batteries are often lost or stolen by officers themselves. “And investigations are ongoing. Every case is investigated.”

DA eThekwini caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango said the allegations were very serious.

He said it was shocking that metro police entrusted to enforce the law were the one who break it.

“It’s very strange why we have not heard about this. We would have expected that the city police report such things to the council’s safety committee. This is quite a disgrace to the police,” he said.

“The whistle-blowers prefer to talk to the media. The city manager Sbu Sithole should take responsibility for this unit. I will be in contact with the municipal account committee to investigate these allegations, to determine what the cost is of replacing the stolen items.”

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