Durban - A Durban metro policewoman had a gun shoved into her chest in Pixley KaSeme (West) Street, allegedly by an off-duty SAPS member whom she had stopped for contravening a bylaw.
The policeman had apparently intentionally bumped into the metro policewoman with his car and, when she asked for his particulars, he lost his temper and pulled out his firearm.
The incident happened last Friday when a metro police team were busy with routine “no stopping” enforcement on the busy CBD artery.
Witnesses said the incident became so heated that the SAPS policeman, who is from Berea police station, was wrestled to the ground by metro police, who did not realise he was a policeman.
A war of words has erupted between the metro police who witnessed the incident and the SAPS who, they say, intervened to get the policeman off the hook. He was arrested by metro police following the incident but, they say, was allowed to leave Durban Central police station before making a statement or having his fingerprints taken.
On Tuesday metro police spokesman Eugene Msomi said the incident was in the hands of a senior investigator. “He is is awaiting details as the shift involved is currently on rest days.”
Remedial action would be determined by “the requisite relevant recommendation once the investigation is concluded”, he said.
The metro policewoman is on stress leave.
SAPS spokesman Jay Naicker confirmed that a 30-year-old man was arrested and charged according to the Road Traffic Act for inconsiderate driving. He said the man was released on bail at the police station and would appear in the Durban magistrate’s court on September 16.
He said records at the Durban central police station showed “no case of (gun) pointing was opened”. He denied that senior officers at Berea station intervened “as the man was charged under the the Road Traffic Act“.
Those who witnessed the incident said it was only at the Durban Central police station that the man identified himself as a policeman.
“He phoned his commander who sent a captain from Berea detectives. He came to the police station, opened the cells, and released the man and informed the charge office commander that he was placing our member (the metro policewoman) under arrest for pointing a firearm.”
Another metro policeman then told the SAPS captain that the policewoman did not have a gun.
The metro police allege that charges against the off-duty cop were changed from pointing a firearm, resisting arrest and assault
“Before they could even finish writing the docket, that man was released. That’s totally not the procedure,” he said.
“We don’t know if that docket is actually valid because in a case like this, you can’t just release a person, there are procedures to go through.”
Metro police and the SAPS have clashed several times recently.
Last month SAPS arrested metro police for allegedly dumping homeless people on the outskirts of eThekwini ahead of the International Union of Architects World Congress.