The police officers arrived at the police station “visibly drunk” and attempted to take a state vehicle.
CAPE TOWN – Three police officers are in hot water after they arrived drunk at work at Nyanga Police Station and allegedly assaulted their shift commander.
The alleged incident occurred around at 2.30am on Saturday and, according to sources close to the investigation, the officers were on duty when they came to the station “visibly drunk“. They wanted to sign the occurrence book, but their shift commander asked them to go home as they were not in a position to carry on with their duties.
The officers argued with their commander, after which they tried to grab the keys of the police vehicle.
The commander made a video, showing his injured hand, which was bleeding, and said he would open a case of assault and theft.
“While I was busy, the two members came and they wanted to grab the vehicle. I was injured,” says the commander on the video.
“These members were under the influence of alcohol and wanted to take the vehicle to go home with. I am going to open a case of using a state vehicle without permission – actually, I am going to open a theft of motor vehicle case,” added the commander.
In another video, an officer is heard encouraging one of the officers to ask for transport to head home, since the officers were relieved from their duties for the night. An officer then tries to grab the keys of the vehicle, at which point the commander stops him.
Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said they are investigating the incident.
“Three members, who were found to be under the influence of alcohol, were relieved from their duties by the shift commander. This investigation is an internal affair between the employer and the employees, and the details thereof will not be disclosed,” said Traut.
He added that, subsequent to the remedial action taken by the shift commander, an altercation occurred, which is now the subject of a criminal investigation – after three assault cases were lodged.
Nyanga CPF chairperson Martin Makasi said they want the officers removed immediately.
“We do not care about police internal processes, but those officers must go. We do not care if we are left with 10 police officers, but those ones must go and that is the message we are sending to the police top brass,” said Makasi.
He said a lot could have gone wrong and many people could have been injured if the commander did not maintain a cool head.
“The commander was asking them nicely to go, since they were drunk. Shots could have been exchanged there. They have disrespected the police service, people of Nyanga and the whole country,” added Makasi.