Home South African LISTEN: Cape Town law enforcement officer suspended for spreading ‘fake news’

LISTEN: Cape Town law enforcement officer suspended for spreading ‘fake news’

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Towards the end of the voicenote, the laughing officer says: “So basically within these three days, there will be no vagrants on the street.”

Cape Town – With mayor Dan Plato indicating that the “City is fully focused on completing refugee and homeless operations as soon as possible”, the City has suspended a Law Enforcement officer for spreading fake news. 

“The number one priority for all spheres of government must be to complete the relocation operations as soon as possible. City teams are working around the clock on our responsibilities in this regard,” Plato said yesterday.

A Plumstead councillor posted a voicenote on a WhatsApp group of an officer claiming that “if they are still around on Wednesday after the forceful removals have been done, they are then getting sent straight to Pollsmoor for 12-month quarantine”,CapeTalk reported on Tuesday.

Towards the end of the voicenote, the laughing officer says: “So basically within these three days, there will be no vagrants on the street.”

Richard Bosman, executive director: Safety and Security for the City, said: “I was able to trace the officer within 10 minutes. He has been suspended and sent home and will be dealt with. This is not the way the City deals with people, not at all.”

In the voicenote, the officer, indicating he got “confirmation from his senior”, says: “So basically because today is the first day of this lockdown, transportation of the vagrants and so forth, we are taking those who want to come.

LISTEN: A Plumstead councillor posted a voicenote on a WhatsApp group of an officer claiming that if the homeless are “still around on Wednesday after the forceful removals have been done, they are then getting sent straight to Pollsmoor for 12-month quarantine”.

“So if you want to fight with us or whatever, we say okay, we leave you, and then tomorrow when we bring SAPS and the army, we are going to do forceful removals. 

“If they are still around on Wednesday after the forceful removals have been done, they are then getting sent straight to Pollsmoor for 12-month quarantine. So they are going to jail for a year. 

“All the paperwork has already been sent in. So they are not going to go to the holding cells. We put them in the back of the van and taking them straight to Pollsmoor. 

“So basically within these three days there will be no vagrants on the street (laughs). So that’s the plan now, I just got confirmation from my senior. 

“That’s the plan happening here. So at the moment we are taking those who are willing to go, by Wednesday forceful.”

Bosman emphasised that the City is “definitely not impressed at all” with the officer’s false claims.

“We have got staff working 24 hours a day to make sure everything is done properly. So to listen to this is absolute nonsense,” said Bosman.

He indicated that most of the homeless were “glad” to be moved to shelters during the lockdown, where they will receive two meals a day.

“If there is going to be anyone to be arrested or removed, that will only be after exhaustive attempts to voluntarily get them (to do so),” Bosman added.

The lockdown regulations stipulate that municipalities must provide shelter for street people during the lockdown period.

Last week, three Cape Town Law Enforcement officers were suspended for allegedly verbally abusing and harassing people on the Cape Flats during the Covid-19 lockdown, said Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, who added he condemned any abuse of power.

Cape Times