‘Drunk’ officials in raid

2017-01-09 11:05
Siyaya Supermarket control room operator Ashwin Naidu (sitting) reviews the footage from the incident with (behind him from left) Inkosi security guard Bradley Naidoo, Inkosi supervisor Hassen Saeed and Siyaya floor manager Sinjay Singh.

Siyaya Supermarket control room operator Ashwin Naidu (sitting) reviews the footage from the incident with (behind him from left) Inkosi security guard Bradley Naidoo, Inkosi supervisor Hassen Saeed and Siyaya floor manager Sinjay Singh. (Omega Moagi)

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Pietermaritzburg - Two municipal officials could be in hot water for their alleged bad behaviour while inspecting a supermarket recently.

The two are accused of being drunk on duty while armed and could face assault charges after being caught on CCTV inspecting and then departing with the Siyaya supermarket’s fireworks licence in downtown Pietermaritzburg last week.

The allegedly drunk municipal officials were captured on CCTV footage in an altercation with the store’s security guard after attempting to leave the store with its firework licence, which they claimed had expired.

Sanjay Singh, the Siyaya floor manager, who was also allegedly assaulted during the incident, claimed the officials were rude and abrupt from the outset.

“The two municipal officials were heavily under the influence and they were very vulgar and violent.

“They demanded the fireworks licence and then refused to give it back, claiming the licence had expired.”

Singh added that upon refuting these claims and asking the two officials for their names and jurisdiction, the officials didn’t answer, but instead headed for their cars with the licence.

Security guards from the store then pursued the two officials outside the store, where an altercation ensued and one of the officials allegedly took a swing at Singh as he tried to recover the licence from him.

Soon after, a crowd of onlookers gathered around the quarrelling group and a street fight allegedly broke out with the public cheering on the officials.

Inkosi security services supervisor Hassen Saeed said he feared for his life and advised his guards to flee the scene.

“These were armed men heavily under the influence of alcohol. Anything could have happened and what’s worse is that the public was encouraging the two officials to use their firearms on us,” alleged Saeed.

Saeed added that he thought the two officials were trying to extort money from them.

“The way I see it, it looked like they wanted a handout, a bribe most probably, but we were not about to give them anything,” said Saeed.

Inkosi manager Gerrard Govender said a case of assault was opened with the police. Govender added that upon following up with Msunduzi, a woman told him that the officials worked under the waste management unit and had no legal right to request the store’s firework licence.

Siyaya owner Shabeer Noorgat said they would be seeking legal action against the municipality.

“This is municipal harassment and we cannot accept it.

“When our attorney returns next week our intention is to lay criminal charges against the municipality because these officials were wearing municipal uniforms and were driving a municipal car.”

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Siyabonga Hlongwa said the municipality was gathering “further information” about the incident.

“A comprehensive response can and will only be provided once all the parties involved have provided information about the matter,” said Hlongwa.

Police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese said the police were investigating a case of assault against the two officials.

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