Kate Lorimer MPL
Spokesperson on Community Safety
The DA is deeply concerned by Benoni Police Station Commander Brigadier Mariemuthoo’s prolonged and questionable absence from the job. Brigadier Mariemuthoo has taken 270 days leave since his allocation to the station three years ago. In response to my question regarding this matter Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko revealed that the Brigadier has taken 106 days sick leave, 39 days study leave, 122 days normal vacation and capped leave as well as three days of family responsibility leave. Station Commanders fulfil a pivotal role in coordinating crime combatting strategies and the activities of police in the area. The lack of effective leadership and management is reflected in the stations’ crime statistics, where the number of reported crimes at this station has either remained at the same levels or increased in certain categories since Mariemuthoo took office. The DA trusts that Mariemuthoo has been instructed to return to work given that his sick leave is exhausted. We also hope that the provincial police will take the appropriate action as indicated, including retiring him on ill-health or possibly suspending his salary and determining his fitness to remain in the police service.
The crime combatting efforts of Gauteng police cannot afford absent station commanders.