WATCH: EMPD officers win promotion battle with blaring sirens

Insp Dominic Phala acted as representative for the group."The chief of police cannot enjoy his money and sit on the fourth floor," he told the officers.

Four hours after about 70 members of Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department gathered in a peaceful protest on Monday morning, their request to receive higher ranks was accepted. This will apply to 119 metro officers.

Many of them have been fighting in court since as early as 2004 to receive promotions. Despite winning a court case last year September, which stated they needed to receive higher ranks, the promotions never materialised.

Insp Dominic Phala, representative of the group, addressed the group at around 10.30am. Despite the circumstances under which they met, all the officers seemed in good spirit. As Phala encouraged the group to stand together, a sense of camaraderie hung in the air.

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“The chief of police cannot enjoy his money and sit on the fourth floor [while officers with low ranks suffer financially],” Phala told the crowd. “Some people received ‘bedroom promotions’ or are related to the right people, but they know nothing.”

The crowd was so silent during his address one could hear a pin drop. However, the group left abruptly after the chief of police did not address them. In unison, all the members got into their EMPD vehicles. Two cars blocked Long Street, allowing the remaining officers to speed away to Germiston.

Phala told Express that they would talk to the chief’s “bosses” there.

Video footage sent to Express by an anonymous metro police officers at 12.30pm showed the EMPD vehicles slowly driving past OR Tambo International Airport with their sirens on. According to the officer, the group drove slowly and in unison all the way to Germiston.

“We were at Germiston Civic Centre when we heard that our request had been accepted,” he said.

According to Phala, the metro’s COO invited all stakeholders to discuss the matter and it was finally decided to put it in motion.

“A document promoting 60 officers will be signed on Tuesday morning at 8am. On Friday, we will have another meeting about the remaining 59 officers. Everyone will receive their inspector ranks,” he said.

Before the announcement that the officers would receive their higher ranks, Clr Jaco Terblanche released a statement on behalf of the DA.

“We understand the frustration felt by many of the protesters after serving within the department for so long. Many officers have served this metro police for many decades but continue to be overlooked for key positions,” he said.

“It is important that as a metro, we develop skills internally so as to promote candidates within our own ranks, which will contribute to not only efficiency but also morale within the EMPD.”

The protesting officers were generally in good spirit. However, when the chief of police failed to address them, they sped away to Germiston to speak to “his bosses”.

 

Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department members outside the EMPD head office on Monday morning. The group protested against a lack of promotions within the metro.

 

  AUTHOR
Paula-Ann Smit
Journalist

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