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Johannesburg - Several Gauteng police stations have new commanders to help fight the scourge of crime in the province.
Gauteng provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mzwandile Petros announced the names of the 14 at the provincial headquarters in Parktown on Thursday. At the same time, eight of the commanders were promoted to colonel, while the other six were made brigadiers.
The police stations that got new commanders are Moroka, Germiston, Roodepoort, Kempton Park, Brakpan, Sebokeng, Soshanguve, Pretoria West, Brackendowns, Ennerdale, Primrose, Sandringham, Wierdabrug and Norwood.
Petros congratulated the station commanders on their promotions and urged them to make a difference in their police stations.
He said they were going to problematic police stations.
Colonel Katlego Mogale said the police stations had had acting station commanders following the retirements of the permanent ones.
Colonel Egen Moodley was among the new station commanders who were appointed. He is a career policeman who has been working in the SAPS for the past 21 years. He was working at Duduza and has now taken the reins at Wierdabrug police station. Petros warned Moodley about the challenges he would be faced with.
He said there were detectives who were arrested from that station on suspicion of corruption. “You are going to a problematic police station. I’m giving you six months to turn things around.”
Petros said they had appointed Moodley because they wanted someone who was “frank”.
He urged Moodley to come and speak to him about what needed to be changed at the station.
Wierdabrug has recently been plagued by allegations of police brutality as well as intimidation of an officer by her colleagues.
An officer at the station claimed she had received a threatening letter believed to have come from her colleagues after she witnessed what she said had been police from the station kicking, hitting, dragging and jumping on a suspect.
But Moodley did not seem to be fazed by the challenges. Speaking to The Star shortly after the announcement, he said: “I know I’m going to a problematic police station, but I know I can do it.”
Commenting on Petros’s remarks about corruption at the police station, he said: “Corruption cannot be tolerated. I will take a strong stance against corruption.”
Moodley said this would need a holistic approach. He said the community needed to be the SAPS’s eyes and ears.
“The community can help us to nail corrupt officers and find out who is committing crime. That is why I think we need to build a strong relationship with the communities,” said Moodley.
The station commander from Primrose, Colonel Thembekile Nkwashu, who has been acting for the past two years, said she had already started engaging with the community, and that was bearing fruit for her.