Owner says he saw police officer driving stolen bakkie

2010-12-27 00:00

A SENIOR official in the KwaZulu-Natal government was recently astonished to see his stolen bakkie being driven around Pietermaritzburg by a police officer. Now he is at loggerheads with another policeman who seems reluctant to check on the stolen vehicle.

Jeff Hassan, a former senior reporter with SABC and a former communication officer in the premier’s office, said his Ford Bantam was stolen in front of the premier’s office in September.

He saw it parked at a greengrocer near Liberty Midlands Mall on December 4.

“I saw a man loading groceries in it. I phoned the investigating officer [IO] to come and check the vehicle out. But the IO told me straight that he was on a day off and that he did not want to be disturbed when he is spending quality time with his family. I still cannot figure out how he could say that I was disturbing him when I was trying to help him solve the case,” said Hassan.

He said that after being snubbed by the IO he called 10111 in the hope of getting police to attend to the matter quickly, but that too proved unsuccessful. He said he reported the IO’s behaviour to police superiors.

“I was shocked when I later learnt that the person who was driving it was a police officer. I have since then seen it in the city centre on several occasions.”

Hassan, who is now working on the presidential hotline in the premier’s office, said the white bakkie has been repainted the same colour, but he could still recognise it by its dents and the interior. He said the number plates have also been changed.

Hassan said he bought the bakkie for his mother, but he was using it on the day it was stolen outside the premier’s office on September 16. It was taken in the presence of police officers who were guarding the offices.

“I finished work late and when I was going home at about 8 pm I was shocked to find that the car was not where I had parked it in front of the premier’s office.

“The police officers who were guarding the building said they did not see when it was taken,” said Hassan.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said she instructed the IO to stop whatever he was doing to attend to the case when she received Hassan’s complaint.

“We are working on the matter, which is complicated because we found that there was nothing wrong with the number plates.

Once we find the vehicle we will get Hassan to come and identify it,” said Jeevan.

She said she was not aware of the allegation that a police officer had been using the vehicle.


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