Durban - eThekwini metro police officers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) have threatened to strike as divisions within the department simmer. Officers said to be close to former Mayor James Nxumalo and former police chief Eugene Nzama have complained of ill-treatment.
However bosses at the beleaguered police department have warned that such a strike will be illegal as the officers perform an essential service.
The officers, however, are adamant their strike is protected as they are armed with a certificate from the Bargaining Council.
The decision to strike from Wednesday next week was communicated to the city manager in a letter dated 15 September.
The union is aggrieved about the relocation of about 33 officers from their post which they say is in contravention of the city’s transfer policy.
Most of these officers worked closely with the former with Nzama while five of them were Nxumalo's bodyguards.
Some of the officers were being moved to the volatile Glebelands hostel, some to the city centre while others are moved to various suburbs.
Acting deputy head Sibonelo Mchunu said policing in Glebelands had to be strengthened in keeping with the recommendations of the Public Protector while there was a need to deal with congestion in the city centre.
On Tuesday the Durban High Court dismissed, on a legal technicality, an application by the officers that sought to prevent the municipality from redeploying them pending the finalisation of the Bargaining Council process.
Mchunu said the metro police management would engage with the aggrieved officers.