MEC dismisses report of police misconduct

Thozi Manyisana

Thozi Manyisana

Eastern Cape MEC for safety and liaison Thobile Mhlahlo has denied accusations of police misconduct.

He was reacting to a report that his department had 1377 outstanding cases of absenteeism, negligence and drinking alcohol on duty.

Sowetan last week revealed that the police service dealt with 1377 cases between 2005 and last year compared with 1209 in the year before.

Of all those cases, only seven policemen had been dismissed and 51 others were suspended.

Speaking from Matatiele yesterday, Mhlahlo said the cases did not affect the work police were performing. "Police work is happening," he said.

Mhlahlo said that no police station in the province had been closed because of absenteeism or drinking.

"We've never had such an experience," he said.

However, the DA lashed out at the police misconduct in the province.

Spokesman Bobby Stevenson claimed that a number of police officers were facing criminal charges, including attempted murder, allowing prisoners to escape, fraud and corruption, domestic violence and defeating the ends of justice.

He said cops were involved in criminal activities that posed a danger to the public, adding that it was "pathetic" that only a few had been dismissed for misconduct.

"What message does that send to the people?" Stevenson asked.

However, Mhlahlo was adamant that "strict measures" were being taken against all offenders.