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Metro cops plan more protests

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

File picture: Following a year of protesting, the eThekwini municipality has turned more than a thousand contract posts into permanent jobs.

Durban - Metro police officers have threatened more disruption if eThekwini municipal bosses dock the salaries of officers who embarked on illegal protests or take disciplinary action against officers found to have incited violence during the strike last week.

On Sunday, it became apparent that the city did not have contingency plans in place to deal with its errant officers.

Metro officers said they would block access to King Shaka International Airport and the harbour and create traffic jams on the N3 at Spaghetti Junction.

On Monday and Thursday last week, metro police disrupted traffic and assaulted members of the public and media.

Security guards and the Saps, who had been called in to control their colleagues, did nothing to stop the armed officers from blocking the roads.

Hundreds of striking officers gridlocked the city centre in peak-hour traffic, and on Monday they barged into the city’s administration offices, threatening to burn down the city hall if their demands for the full-time employment of 1 000 temporary officers were not immediately met.

They also called for over-age officers to be sent for training and that Eugene Nzama, the head of the metro police, be axed.

Ratepayers would have to shell out for an unbudgeted bill of R92.4 million a year if they were employed full-time.

City spokesman Thabo Mofokeng has said the city would not tolerate violent behaviour and ill-discipline.

Officers who had not reported to work at the time of the illegal protest would have their salaries docked and disciplinary action would be taken against those who had insulted city bosses, incited violence or threatened to burn down the city hall.

“There is no need for us [the city] to make contingency plans because we expect all metro police officers to be on duty.

“We have replied to their concerns and have given them a way forward. There are also ongoing discussions with their union leaders,” Mofokeng said. - The Mercury


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