Head of eThekwini's Metro Police on special leave

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pretoria - The Head of eThekwini Municipality's Metro Police has been placed on special leave, says City Manager Sibusiso Sithole.

Eugene Nzama will be on special leave for a period of three months, up to the end of August.

"This arrangement was by consent and amicably arrived at between the City Manager and Nzama at a meeting held on 29 May 2012 at City Hall. We are aware, however, that he now intends to dispute the consensual element of this arrangement," Sithole said.

Explaining the reasons for the special leave, Sithole noted that a number of allegations had been made against Nzama by unions, Metro Police staff and taxi owners.

The city wanted an opportunity to investigate these allegations objectively to either clear Nzama or take action should the allegations be found to be true, he added.

The city has proposed that independent investigators be appointed to carry out this investigation. All parties will have an opportunity to place before the investigators evidence in support of or against the allegations.

"The second reason is that Metro Police has experienced a lot of instability under Nzama's leadership in recent months. The city wants to do a thorough assessment of the fundamental causes behind this instability so as to address them appropriately," Sithole said.

He added that the independent investigators would also play a role in identifying these issues and recommending appropriate actions to be taken as a way forward.

"The third reason relates to serious security concerns against Nzama, which have come to our attention. We believe as a city that we should take appropriate steps to protect him as our employee," Sithole said.

The city believed that granting Nzama special leave was the "best available remedy" to manage the complex challenge in the interest of all affected parties.

"We also hope and trust that all affected parties will give this process a chance so that Metro Police can focus on its mandate without fear, favour or prejudice."

Vincent Ngubane has been appointed to act in the position during this period.

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