Tshwane Metro Police: Not everyone supports anti-corruption turnaround plan

Henry

The Tshwane metro is concerned about internal opposition to new measures to restore discipline among members of the Tshwane metro police, says Grandi Theunissen, FF Plus councilor and mayoral committee member for community safety.

After the metro police received several complaints of corruption, exploitation and extortion of motorists by TMPD officers, several internal and external measures were announced. This included a directive giving motorists permission to ask for a metro police officer’s appointment certificate and even take a photo of the officer or his or her vehicle.

Basil Nkhwashu, Acting Tshwane Metropolitan Police Chief, also said earlier that more than 50 TMPD officers are expected to be dismissed within the next two months due to fraud and extortion among other things.

In the letter to metro police officers, Nkhwashu said the unit was inundated with complaints from motorists who had passed under corrupt metro police officers and that the measures, such as the right to insist on identification, stem from this.

“These decisions and measures are focused on ensuring a safe, ethical and disciplined work environment for the benefit of the public and the TMPD,” says Theunissen.

“Although it does not come as a surprise, I am disheartened by manifestations of active and passive resistance to these ongoing efforts by the acting police chief. I would like to see the entire senior management support the Chief of Police to crack down on misconduct and restore the image of the TMPD and its members, which has been tarnished by the rogues among them.”

Theunissen is also concerned about allegations of a smear campaign against the acting police chief in which representatives of the trade union Samwu are believed to be involved. This is action that Theunissen describes as “supporting criminality”.

“I would expect unions to welcome the interventions, which are aimed at improving their members’ working conditions and reputation, and to constructively involve the city and the acting police chief in this process.

“Unfortunately, some union representatives seem determined to create and enforce the perception that they and their members are quite happy with the status quo, to the detriment of the city and its residents.”

Theunissen says that despite opposition from some ranks, the process to “clean up” the TMPD continues, with the full support of the executive mayor, Cilliers Brink, and the coalition government.