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Thursday, 6 August 2009

Cop moves into police station

SA Mandela Marx I found the following post by Uhuru Guru of South Africa Sucks. Only in South Africa…

Johannesburg – The commanding officer of an East Rand police station has moved lock, stock and barrel into his office.

Senior Superintendent David Matlahola has been living in his office at Ratanda police station near Heidelberg since the police stopped paying him (with taxpayers’ money) approximately R8 000 per month to stay in a guest house.

Beeld was told that staff at the police station have no option but to stand by and watch as Matlahola washes himself in the kitchen every morning.

Apparently he’s also held meetings in his pyjamas, and has sent officers out to buy his lunch when they should be working.

Matlahola has been on sick leave for the past two weeks, while still staying in his office, said Johan Bester, chair of the Heidelberg Community Policing Forum (CPF).

“Staff couldn’t get to the photocopiers and fax machines to send or receive important documents.”

Seeking government house

When Beeld visited Matlahola’s office, boxes containing his personal belongings, as well as furniture, mattresses and bedroom suite, among other things, were standing in his office.

Matlahola admitted that he’s been living in his office.

According to Bester, Matlahola, the former commanding officer at the Heidelberg police station, was suspended in 2002 after a charge of sexual harassment was investigated against him.

“Apparently he was transferred to Limpopo province, before being transferred back to Ratanda.”

A source at Heidelberg police station told Beeld that Matlahola appealed against the suspension and won the case, upon which he was offered the post in Ratanda.

Bester said the police have been paying for Matlahola’s lodging in a local guesthouse for about three months at R8 000 per month, while he was supposed to be looking for permanent accommodation.

“Matlahola insisted that he be provided with a government house, but as senior superintendent he doesn’t qualify for this benefit. About two weeks ago, he had all his possessions stored in his office and other police buildings, and is now living there.”

His private vehicle, which is broken down, is parked outside the police station.

A police official said Matlahola often sends officers to buy food for him.

Complaints

“Ratanda’s size and crime levels don’t even justify the presence of a senior superintendent. We’ve always just had a superintendent as commanding officer.”

The complaints of several outraged taxpayers and police officials from Ratanda have fallen on deaf ears, and they are now seeking help from the Heidelberg CPF, said Bester.

Matlahola didn’t want to comment any further, and referred all queries to provincial police spokesperson Superintendent Eugene Opperman.

Opperman, however, was not aware of the situation.

“We thank Beeld for bringing the matter to our attention. The situation will be dealt with internally,” was all he would say.

- Beeld

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