Metro cops' bikes confiscated
Cobus Claassen, Beeld
Pretoria - An irate director in the Tshwane metro police apparently threatened to have her own officials locked up during a bizarre incident on Wednesday.
This resulted in Tshwane confiscating its own motorcycles on Wednesday morning.
The drama played out at the municipality's Rondalia building in the Pretoria CBD when Pinkie Mathabathe "cracked down" on Tshwane's motorcycle task team.
It was apparently the officials' firearm licences, which expired at the end of last year and have not since been renewed, which led to the incident.
According to legislation, metro police officials may not serve without a legal firearm.
Mathabathe, who acted as Tshwane's interim chief for community safety for a while last year, reportedly went on a mission against the 11 officials at this building.
"She gave us quite the tongue lashing, told us we're too lazy to work and threatened to have us locked up," one of the officials involved told Beeld confidentially.
He and his colleagues apparently tried in vain in December to get appointments at Tshwane's Premos training college, where the licences are renewed annually.
"We have to work, but we can't do so without licences. What do they expect from us?"
Mathabathe ordered that the officials' motorcycles be confiscated and they were loaded onto a trailer.
"She also threatened to disband the unit and now we don't have motorcycles. There's a great amount of uncertainty."
Mathabathe summarily dismissed Beeld on Wednesday afternoon when asked for comment by saying she's in a meeting.
"Call me later," she said. She could not be reached again.
William Baloyi, metro police spokesperson, did not respond to a message.
Karen Meyer, the DA's spokesperson for community safety in Tshwane, said the situation is unacceptable since the public pays these officials' salaries.
"The DA can't take exception to Mathabathe's behaviour. The question is who was responsible for seeing to it that the licences were renewed on time?
"Officials who are stranded at work are badly managed," Meyer said.