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JOHANNESBURG - The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) on Wednesday wrote to the Ekhuruleni City Manager demanding that the pre suspension hearing against two of their members who were attached to the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) should not continue.

This comes after Officers appeared on a video, which had been circulating on social media with money in their lunch packs.

Regional Secretary, Chris Mavhunda said: “First and foremost, according to our knowledge and evidence at our disposal, EMPD does not have a Chief of Police. The individual who has served our members with these illegal notice of suspension letters is illegitimate and has no authority to do so as there is no contract of employment between the City and any individual for the post of Chief of Police”.

Mavhunda said that particularly the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula who has branded the Officers as “thugs” while they have not committed any crime, has created the perception in the media.

“We condemn Minister Mbalula for jumping the gun and fuelling speculation that the money the Officers had was proceeds of a criminal act. The Minister should rather focus on tracking and arresting individuals who are responsible for mass murders particularly in Philippi, Western Cape”.

SAMWU demands that the pre suspension hearing against two of their members who were attached to the EMPD should not continue.

“We have also noted that the Portfolio Committee on Transport was presented with an undertaking by the Transport Department that action will be taken against the Officers. We take dim view towards this undertaking as we view it to be a prosecution of our members outside disciplinary mechanisms which are in place at the City of Ekurhuleni,” said Mavhunda
He added that the two Officers have their undivided support, as they believe they have not committed any crime. These were individuals who have recently graduated from the EMPD academy and were happy to have received their salaries, which they have worked for.

“SAMWU will not promote any criminality but we will equally not fold our arms while our members are prosecuted on the basis of perception and speculation”.
“We will therefore be demanding that the City bring to a halt this crusade they have embarked on of systematically targeting workers for no apparent reason. Currently EMPD has over 200 suspensions where workers have not been formally charged all because there is no evidence of wrongdoing. The City of Ekurhuleni should rather focus on employing a competent individual as the Chief of Police,” Mavhunda said.