THERE was drama at the Mbombela municipal offices when traffic officers blocked the entrance with their marked vehicles yesterday.

The angry officers were demanding to be paid "long overdue" overtime.

The armed traffic officers, who were in full uniform, shouted slogans and at one stage removed a senior fleet management official from one of the vehicles.

This after the official tried to drive away in an apparent bid to escape.

The visibly shaken official, Vellie Bason, literally cried and begged for mercy when he was pulled out of one of the vehicles that were blocking the gate.

Bason had apparently brought a spare key from the office in order to start the car.

"We want our money now or someone will die today," sang the angry traffic officers.

The traffic officers accused Mbombela traffic manager Eddie Prollius of being a racist who did not take their concerns seriously since he apparently failed to pay them overtime money since the beginning of 2007.

"We cannot tolerate the racism that we are being subjected to on a daily basis," one of the trafficofficers said.

All Mbombela employees who came to work in their vehicles were prevented from entering the municipal premises.

This resulted in serious congestion on the road along the premises.

A very agitated Prollius and his colleague Bason declined to answer questions on allegations of racism and failing to pay the traffic officers their overtime money.

Mbombela executive mayor Lassy Chiwayo said officials managed to address the traffic officers' concerns, which seem to be genuine.

"There are also allegations of racism that need to be investigated."

The traffic officers only dispersed after a senior official asked them to do so with the promise that their concerns would be addressed.

Mbombela Municipality spokesperson Joseph Ngala said the traffic officers will be served with letters indicating the management's intention to suspend them.