Cops work from their car boots

2012-06-29 00:00

MEMBERS of the SA Police Service vehicle recovery and safeguarding units at Marburg on the South Coast are working from their cars after being locked out of their offices by the owner of the building.

The offices, which serve the entire Umzimkhulu area, including Port Shepstone, have been under lock and key for the past month as the Public Works Department and the owner, Silver Moon Investments, haggle over the lease agreement.

According to a reliable source, who declined not to be named, the lease, which expired in December last year, should have been renewed six months earlier, in June.

However, negotiations stalled, leading Silver Moon Investments to take the drastic step of locking up the building. Now some 20 officers are working out of their cars.

Democratic Alliance councillor Doug Rawlins, who visited the unit yesterday morning, said he found the officers reporting for duty outside the padlocked gate.

“Roll call was taken and those assigned to fieldwork went out on patrol. Administration officers are, however, forced to work out of the boots of their vehicles,” he said.

Photos seen by The Witness show the premises locked and people in plain clothes, alleged to be police officers, parked outside the gate and making notes using their car bonnets as desks.

SAPS spokesperson Thulani Zwane told The Witness yesterday that the officers had been accommodated at another police station.

“The public must go to Port Shepstone SAPS for vehicle clearances.”

The source said the building’s lease should have been renewed for five years in June, but this wasn’t done. In January a month-to-month lease was agreed.

Public Works Department officials reportedly told Silver Moon Investment representatives yesterday that the lease would be renewed in four months.

The source said Silver Moon Investments had decided to open the building daily to allow officers access to their documents so they do not obstruct justice.

The South Coast Fever reported that local residents are growing increasingly frustrated with the situation.

“All there is is a sign on the door that says the office has been closed indefinitely,” said the paper.

The Public Works Department was unable to respond to The Witness’s queries on the matter yesterday.

However, a representative, Thami Mchunu, previously told the South Coast Fever that a task team had been set up to resolve the problem which had led to the expired lease.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.