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City of Joburg and chief of metro police go separate ways

Johannesburg Metro Police Department chief David Tembe has resigned from the position.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department chief David Tembe has resigned from the position.
Image: Thobeka Zazi Ndabula

The City of Johannesburg and its chief of metro police David Tembe have ended their months long feud after reaching a settlement agreement to part ways.

The agreement riddled with confidentially clauses was concluded on Tuesday and will see Tembe leaving his position which has been a bone of contention since the ANC took over the city in December.

“The City of Johannesburg has, through a mutually agreed separation agreement, released Mr David Tembe from his position as the chief of police,” city’s spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said.

“The chief of police vacated his position on 07 April 2020. Both parties have agreed to keep confidential terms the terms of separation.”

Director in the department Sipho Dlephu takes over from Tembe on an acting capacity.

It had been alleged that the city under the ANC wanted Tembe who was seen as former mayor Herman Mashaba’s ally to vacate the position.

This was further evidenced by comments made by the city’s MMC for public safety Mally Mokoena in leaked audio clip where she was heard giving orders for the immediate suspension of Tembe.

In the audio clip, Mokoena can be heard ordering head of department William Mazibuko to “show your muscles and suspend Tembe today”.

The audio is said to have been recorded during a four-hour meeting with 13 officers that Tembe had suspended.

“When these meetings end you tell them all these things you say … ‘I’m not going to disclose, I’m going to say it’s an administrative matter, I’ve listened but the prerogative lies with the HOD, he must tell us how he feels about it’ and today you must suspend Tembe, today,” said Mokoena.

“Show your muscle, you’re an HOD… suspend this guy, suspend him. He must go, suspend him and then I’ll tell the mayor [Geoff Makhubo] that he has been suspended because of all these [grievances].”

Following the leaked clip, that was first exposed by SowetanLIVE, Makhubo said although it was wrong for Mokoena to have called for Tembe’s immediate suspension, he did not believe the call was entirely incorrect.

He said it was not political interference as he strongly believed Mokoena was well within her rights to make such a call for his suspension while the city was investigating him.

Modingoane said the city thanked Tembe for his services.

Tembe said he would comment in due course.​

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