Picketing Tshwane metro cops accuse chief Johanna Nkomo of destroying department
Pretoria - Tshwane Metro Police Department chief Lieutenant-General Johanna Nkomo came under scathing attack from some metro officers today, calling for her to go during a picket at the Pretoria West headquarters.
Leaders of the regional South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu), who are part of the metro police department, chanted Struggle songs and held up placards outside the building.
They blocked the entrance to the building, preventing service providers expected to deliver stationery from entering the premises.
Nkomo came under fire for allegedly being responsible for the collapse of the metro police department because of her poor leadership qualities.
One of the placards read: "Nkomo must go today."
Members of the SAPS were called in to keep an eye on the situation and quell possible tension.
Samwu representative Ngoako Mathabatha griped about the poorly-resourced control centre in the city centre.
"There are many problems that we want to raise with that woman (Nkomo). There is equipment that was bought in 2016 or 2017 for the control centre, but to date it has not been installed. The control centre of the department has been allowed to deteriorate," Mathabatha said.
Concerns were also raised about the armoury section of the department, which could not afford to issue firearm licence cards for officers who underwent shooting training.
"The metro police are given some documents as permits for carrying guns, instead of licence cards," Mathabatha said.
Nkomo was accused of excluding the union leadership from decision-making processes since she assumed office in 2017.
"We are saying she must consult us first as the union before she submits the department reports at the local labour forum,"Mathabatha said.
He cited a report regarding bodyguards and drivers employed in the VIP section, which recommended that the personnel's monthly overtime payments must be capped at R19 000 in addition to their salaries.
The union leaders in the department came across such a report after it had already been presented at the local labour forum, he said.
"It can't be correct that the VIP section that is not in the structure of metro police gets money from the department, whereas it belongs to the mayor's office,"Mathabatha said.
He pointed fingers at Nkomo for showing favouritism to some employees.
"She (Nkomo) removed a senior official from his director position and gave him the responsibilities of a junior member. It can't be correct that a director must be allowed to head a section that must be headed by a junior member and continue to earn a director's salary," Mathabatha said.
Picketers complained about poor hygiene in all the metro police buildings, citing the leaking toilets as a major problem.
"In this building there are two cleaners while in other metro police buildings there are no cleaners. We are still on level one of Covid-19 and we expect all our buildings to be clean because we are expecting those who are still at home to find us working in a clean environment,"Mathabatha said.
Regarding the unlawful picketing, he said: "In terms of the law there is no need to apply for a picket because the law stipulates that if you are less than 15 you can picket in your area. And if you start to be more than 15 it is then that you can send in an application."