Durban - About 1 000 Durban metro police are expected to surrender their service pistols outside their headquarters on Monday in a desperate attempt to force the municipality to dismiss their boss Eugene Nzama.
The officers, who were part of a mostly peaceful SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) march through the centre of Durban yesterday, said they would gather outside the KE Masinga (Old Fort) Road office.
“We will report for duty but thereafter we will surrender our weapons outside the office and continue working without any firearms,” said the officers who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.
The officers, who for almost a year have been calling for Nzama to be sacked, said they had given the city ample time to address the contentious issue.
“Enough is enough. We’ve given the city so much leeway but they are obviously not taking our concern regarding Nzama seriously,” said another officer.
The disgruntled officers said they did not want to resort to violence, but if need be would physically remove Nzama from his office.
“He needs to go and he needs to go now,” said an officer outside the city hall.
Nzama, who has had a stormy relationship with his subordinates for several years, was placed on three months’ special leave by city manager Sbu Sithole in June because of concerns about his safety and instability in the department under his leadership. He was reinstated after he challenged the move in the Durban Labour Court.
His Newlands West home was attacked last month in an “attempted hit”. Nzama and his family were not at home at the time but two security guards stationed outside the house were shot and suffered several injuries.
Last month the officers vowed to bring the city to a standstill if Nzama was not fired.
The officers, who are Samwu members, had earlier joined their colleagues in a march through the city centre.
High on the list of the marchers’ demands was the release of the full Manase report, converting temporary workers to permanent employment, paying them market-related salaries and sacking Nzama.
The Manase probe into maladministration, corruption and fraud implicated nine senior managers in the municipality and 123 council employees.
None of the officials implicated in the report has been suspended or dismissed. “We demand that all officials implicated in the Manase report must be fired and further face criminal charges,” said Samwu’s regional secretary Nhlanhla Nyandeni.
Nyandeni also expressed displeasure at a SA Local Government Association decision to appeal against the implementation of the “wage curve agreement”. This would pave the way for proper wage structures, he said.
Independent on Saturday