Police use the bush as their toilet

Black refuse bags cover urinals that are out of order at a police station in North West. /Tiro Ramatlhatse
Black refuse bags cover urinals that are out of order at a police station in North West. /Tiro Ramatlhatse

Police officers in a North West village are forced to answer the call of nature in the field or bring water from home because their offices do not have water supply.

Their rented station, 20km from Mahikeng, has been without water for over two months now after water pumps burst in June.

A police officer said he went to the nearby bush to answer the call of nature.

"I can't go into those toilets, they're unhygienic, " he said.

Other officers said if they did not bring water from home they sometimes go to the nearby Rooigrond informal settlement to ask for water.

"It's a problem, it's inhumane ... male colleagues no longer respect us because our toilets are a disgrace, they are stinking and filthy," a female police officer said.

"We were told that a company will come and fix the problem, but even now nothing has happened. We can't work like this," she said.

An unbearable stench hit the Sowetan team as it arrived at the station, which has 254 officers. "The province has been experiencing a high number of protests lately, we are expected to report to work daily, but we don't have water," said a male police officer.

North West police spokesman Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said: "A contractor has been appointed to provide water in the interim while we look at a permanent solution of fixing water pipes."

Mokgwabone said police rented the offices from the department of public works.

Public works spokesman Thami Mchunu did not respond to questions sent to him.

Mahikeng mayor Betty Diakanyo said the matter was not reported to her office.

"They should have come to the municipality for help, we have water tankers," Diakanyo said, adding they'll work on a solution today.

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