An Ekurhuleni Metro Police (EMPD) traffic officer has been suspended after being caught on video appearing intoxicated while on duty and in full uniform.
The Ekhurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina Tweeted on Wednesday that the police officer was confirmed to have been drunk, another police officer as well as a supervisor have been suspended pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.
The video, which has gone viral, shows the police officer, who the public refer to as ‘drunk as hell’ with bottles of alcohol under the seat of the EMPD vehicle. He appears to be slurring his words. Somebody points out that his weapon is falling off his belt and requests that it be removed.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula is disgusted by the incident which occurred on Heritage Day in Benoni, and said the metro officer should be brought to book.
The man filming the incident advises the officer that he is in no condition to be driving and on numerous occasions requests that the officers blood be tested.
A well-renowned crime journalist, Yusuf Abramjee said on Twitter that the officer almost crashed into a biker in Benoni and then threatened to shoot the man while he was being recorded.
Conflicting conditions on social media
There have been reports on social media that the metro officer is suffering with a health condition and that he allegedly came out of Dischem at the Ekurhuleni shopping centre before being caught on video struggling to walk.
Masina said that a full investigation will be conducted within the EMPD and the public will be informed of the outcome.
Why was the supervisor suspended?
Ekurhuleni’s acting mayor Lesiba Mpya said that the supervisor had failed to take appropriate action following the reports of the drunk officer. He was indecisive as to what action to take despite the officer appearing to be in a severely intoxicated state when brought into the police station by members of the public.
The City of Ekurhuleni want to express a zero tolerance stance in matters of this nature as it places the lives of the public in danger.
While Mpya did not answer directly regarding whether blood samples had been extracted, he did state that should they not have been taken it would be defeating the ends of justice for the police officers involved.