An investigation has been launched into an incident where three police officials from the Postmasburg police station were caught on camera sleeping on duty … while residents desperately tried getting hold of them during a home robbery.
Postmasburg couple, Arnold Spies and his wife, found two men in their house early on Friday morning but were left to fend for themselves when desperate calls to the local police station, requesting assistance, were left unattended.
“I woke up at about 4.30am on Friday morning and found someone crawling on our bedroom floor. First I thought it was my wife but then I saw her still lying in bed.
“When I screamed another man emerged from beside my wife. We were lucky not to have been harmed and they got away with a cellphone,” Spies said.
However, the couple’s ordeal was far from over, as several calls to the local police station were left unanswered.
Spies’ wife then called the Neighbourhood Watch, who reacted immediately and also sent a representative to the Postmasburg police station to try and find out what the problem was.
Here, the man took cellphone footage of the police station, which shows how he freely gains access to a back office, while passing a deserted charge office and control room, to find three female police officials, two in uniform and one in plain clothes, asleep.
While two of the officials are woken up by the man, the third, sleeping on her stomach on a towel laid out on the floor, simply looked at the man, turned around and carried on sleeping.
When he informed the three that the couple who had been robbed could not get hold of them, one of the officials replied that the number is not working, but when Spies added that he had tried all their numbers, they had no answer.
According to Spies, police only attended to the scene two hours after the incident.
“Initially I was unaware that the police officers were sleeping. They told me the telephone lines were off. It’s unacceptable that they were sleeping on duty. The incident occurred at 4.30am and the police arrived at our house at 6.30am.
“I can, however, not complain about the service we got from the police officers when they eventually arrived,” Spies said.
AfriForum’s provincial co-ordinator, Wico Swanepoel, on Sunday said the organisation would now put pressure on the station commander and the provincial police commissioner to intervene and act against the officers involved.
“It’s disappointing to experience police officers who do not execute their duties or take it seriously, despite the fact that we have a high crime rate and South Africans are living in fear.”
Police spokesman, Brigadier Masebueng Mochologi-Maleeme, said on Sunday that the office of the provincial commissioner was aware of the video clip of the police officers apparently sleeping on duty.
“An internal investigation will be instituted against the police officials appearing in the video,” Mochologi-Maleeme said.