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Hundreds of Durban metro police officers were expected to picket outside the city hall today in an attempt to force eThekwini bosses to fire metro police head Eugene Nzama.
On Tuesday metro police officers gave municipal manager S’bu Sithole 48 hours to heed their call and remove Nzama from his position.
Nzama, who was put on special leave last month by Sithole, recently returned to work, much to the disappointment of staff, unions and the taxi industry.
During Nzama’s leave, Sithole had asked the city’s disaster management head, Vincent Ngubane, who had been appointed as acting metro police head, to speedily address issues that Nzama had allegedly failed to deal with.
Police officers said Nzama had disrupted all the plans that had been set in motion to turn around the metro police.
SA Municipal Workers Union deputy secretary Nkosenhle Madlala said the four-hour picket would have an impact on policing.
“But the impact is not intended… We were encouraged when Nzama was placed on special leave, but he has returned and derailed the progress made by Ngubane,” he said.
Madlala said Ngubane had begun the process of sending over-age officers for police training. The transfer list Nzama had unilaterally put together had also been in the process of being assessed by Ngubane.
“Now Nzama says all the people on the transfer list must be transferred… The deputy head of operations post had been advertised by Ngubane, but the indications now are that that process will not be seen through,” he said.
Madlala added that the metro police officers were ready to meet Sithole and discuss the issues they had against Nzama.
Municipal spokesman Thabo Mofokeng said there was no understanding about a picket taking place because no permission to that effect had been granted.
“The municipality is taking the issues raised seriously and is looking into resolving them. The city wants to formally meet the unions before the end of the week to discuss issues and challenges at metro police,” he said.