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'Sex for promotion' one of the gripes

By unknown | Jun 27, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sibongile Mashaba and Nkosana Lekotjolo

Sibongile Mashaba and Nkosana Lekotjolo

The Johannesburg CBD was tense yesterday following clashes between Johannesburg Metro police and the SAPS during protests which began on Wednesday.

Unconfirmed reports claimed that one Metro police officer was killed in a shootout between the two law enforcement agencies. Nine others were injured. A woman from the Metro police was arrested and could face a charge of public violence.

But, South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) spokesman Vincent Vena said the officer was arrested when she went to report that her service pistol had gone missing when violence erupted.

The conflict started when the Metro police blockaded major roads in the city centre to protest against wage increases and nepotism in the department.

A Metro police officer who did not want to be named said: "We are sick and tired of being exploited. We are expected to perform but are not rewarded. The female officers are most affected by nepotism.

"We have to sleep with the bosses before we are considered for promotion. Our salaries remain the same irrespective of length of service," she said.

Some motorists were literally caught in the crossfire, others seriously delayed.

Sowetan editor-in-chief, Thabo Leshilo, was delayed for an hour in the traffic on his way to an editors' function hosted by ANC president Jacob Zuma. Leshilo said the event, scheduled for 6pm, only started at 7.40pm because of the delay.

Police spokesman Captain Julia Classen told Sowetan: "Metro police blocked traffic on the M2 and when police arrived they fired live ammunition and police fired back with rubber bullets."

Vena said Metro officers, who are members of Samwu, were demanding salary increases but the management was not prepared to deliver.

Yesterday the Roodepoort and Langlaagte testing stations were closed and the gates locked.

Sapa reports that the South African Human Rights Commission said urgent intervention was needed in the conflict between the Metro police and SAPS.

"The commission is concerned about the violent stand-off between the SAPS and the JMPD on the M2 highway in Johannesburg," said senior researcher Danzel van Zyl.

It called on leadership of both institutions to intervene to ensure that the right to safety and security of all people be respected and those responsible for criminal activities be brought to justice.


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