The deceased, Eddie Perumal, was not an official of the eThekwini Municipality, but his relative is allegedly a metro policeman.
Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, metro police spokesperson, said they had received a spontaneous request from the family because of service delivery protests on the freeway.
“eThekwini Municipality’s security management and land-invasion units demolished shacks on the N2 near Chesterville. The evicted residents often throw rocks, stone cars and burn tyres on the freeway. The family thought the body would be late for the cremation due to the protest,” Sewpersad said.
Metro police members were at the family’s home in Isipingo at 11am and then escorted the hearse to a hall nearby, waited for two hours and then escorted the procession to the crematorium.
There was a bakkie from the metro police public order police unit, while the other vehicles were from the metro police dog unit with the K9s on board. Each car had two police officers.
A source said when the procession left Isipingo, some roads were closed off by police vehicles. On the N2, motorists were pushed aside by the wailing metro police vehicles to create a path for the hearse.
Mdu Nkosi, IFP councillor and member of the city’s executive committee, said if the funeral was not for an official, it could amount to the abuse of municipal resources.
“We need metro police to be visible because it is still part of the festive season. We always get complaints that when the public phones for help, police vehicles are not available. There is no control of the metro police because it is divided into factions,” Nkosi said.
Zwakele Mncwango, DA provincial leader, said he was shocked to hear about the incident.
“We have to investigate. They have a mandate to control traffic and protect the citizens.You can't say you have a shortage of metro police staff and then escort funerals,” said Mncwango.