Senior superintendent washes in station kitchen, holds meetings in pyjamas- Beeld
Johannesburg (Sapa) - A senior police superintendent is living in his office, washing himself in the station's kitchen and holding staff meetings in his pyjamas, Beeld newspaper reported on Monday.
Senior Superintendent David Matlahola, station commander of the Ratanga police station on Johannesburg's East Rand, apparently moved into the Heidelberg office after the police stopped paying him R8000 a month to stay in a guest house.
The police remained tight-lipped about the situation on Monday morning, declining to comment on the newspaper report.
"We can't talk about it, it has caused a lot of tension here, including racial tension," a policeman, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Sapa from Ratanga police station.
He confirmed that the Matlahola had been living in his office at the station.
Apparently Matlahola was not at the station on Monday morning. A colleague said he had gone to the provincial police offices.
No police media officers wanted to comment either, with provincial spokesman Superintendent Eugene Opperman saying: "It is an internal matter and will be handled internally."
Johan Bester, chairman of the Heidelberg community police forum, said he had not received any feedback from the police yet.
"But the community police forum is holding a meeting tomorrow [Tuesday] and we will be asking the police for feedback before then," said Bester, stating that the information contained in the Beeld report was accurate.
Beeld, whose reporter visited the police station, said the station commander washed himself in front of his colleagues in the kitchen in the mornings.
He also held meetings in his pyjamas and sent his juniors to buy him food at lunch time.
Bester said the station commander had been on "sick leave" the past two weeks.
"Workers could not use the copier machine or the fax machine," said Bester, apparently because the senior superintendent was recovering from his illness in his office.
Beeld reported that a lounge suite, mattress, other furniture and boxes full of personal belongings were standing around in the man's office.
Bester said Matlahola was suspended in 2002 after a charge of sexual harassment was laid against him.
He was moved to a Limpopo police office but then returned to the Ratanga police station where he was in charge when the sexual harassment complaint was laid.
Upon his arrival from Limpopo, the police paid about R8000 per month for him to stay in a guest house to give him time to find a house, said Bester.
"He insisted on a state house even though he does not qualify for one. About two weeks ago, he moved all his household goods to his office and to other police buildings and now he is living there."
His broken car is reportedly parked outside the police station, the report added.