Pretoria – The Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) has given several warnings to City of Ekurhuleni officials on using municipal vehicles for personal business or errands. Many staff members have been found misusing state cars, and the vehicles have been seized.
“On Wednesday 31 May, 2023 at about 7.50am, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department’s security and loss control unit officers impounded a council-issued motor vehicle belonging to the Parks Department from a City of Ekurhuleni employee,” EMPD spokesperson Kelebogile Thepa said.
“As the officers were busy with their normal duties, they came across a municipal vehicle that had a school child as a passenger inside the vehicle, on Eagle Street in the Modderbee area of Benoni.
“When the officers approached the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle drove off although officers instructed him to stop. After a short chase, the vehicle came to a halt with the school child still inside the vehicle,” Thepa said.
She said when the municipal vehicle was stopped, the City of Ekurhuleni staffer told officers that he was doing the school-run with his child, and he would not do it again.
“When the driver, a City of Ekurhuleni employee, was questioned, he told the officers that he was taking his child to school, but it would be for the last time. The law enforcers immediately confiscated the vehicle and initiated internal investigations,” Thepa said.
“The Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department would like to reiterate that those who make use of council resources that are meant to serve the public should refrain from such as these resources are for the purpose of service delivery.”
Earlier this week, as the crackdown intensified on municipal officials misusing state vehicles, another Ford Ranger bakkie was confiscated from a municipal official who was found travelling with her child.
Thepa said when officers stopped the woman and explained to her the municipal policy on the use of City of Ekurhuleni vehicles, she drove away while they were speaking to her.
Thepa said the police did not chase the woman because there was a child in the car.
“On Tuesday May 30, between 7am and 8am, members of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department impounded a council-issued vehicle in the Tembisa area, following misuse by a City of Ekurhuleni employee,” Thepa said.
“Allegedly, the officers were travelling from Tembisa to Kempton Park passing through the Zuurfontein Cemetery, when they noticed a white Ford Ranger bakkie being driven by a female City of Ekurhuleni employee from the energy department travelling in the opposite direction.
“Members politely stopped the vehicle, and a driver came out from the vehicle and came straight to them,” Thepa said.
Thepa said when the officers were outlining the council’s policy to the woman, she walked away “before the officers could finish explaining” and drove off.
“Officers did not want to chase her as she was with a child in the car, however, they proceeded straight to the energy department in Tembisa and waited for her to arrive, immediately confiscating the vehicle.”
Last month, the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department pounced on several municipal officials and confiscated at least four official vehicles being used for personal business.
Some of the vehicles, including a marked municipal police BMW, were seized at schools where the municipal workers were picking up or dropping off their children.
“On Tuesday May 23, at about 6am, members of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department’s security and loss control unit impounded three municipal vehicles following misuse by City of Ekurhuleni council employees in the Benoni area,” Thepa said.
After receiving a tip-off about City of Ekurhuleni employees using council vehicles to drop off their children at school, officers went to a high school in Benoni where they found three vehicles – a marked BMW belonging to the EMPD, a marked Ford Ranger belonging to the Disaster and Emergency Management Services Department and an unmarked white Ford Ranger belonging to the Parks Department – in the school parking lot.