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S.AFRICA: Police operates under church premises after station is shut down due to Covid-19.

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Johannesburg – The Mhala Police Station in Mpumalanga will on Monday and Tuesday be operating from a nearby church after it had to be shut down due to an officer testing positive for Covid-19.

The officer received his results on Sunday and the police station was immediately shutdown so it could undergo deep cleaning.

Spokesperson for the Mpumalaga Police Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the station was big which a huge staff complement and needed two days to be properly disinfected. 

He said communities that used the police station would need to go to the Roman Catholic Church which was not far from the station as that’s where officers would be temporarily based.

“There are no services that will be affected. We will be operating as normal but with limited resources. We don’t have land lines and people will have to call 079 396 4587 for all emergencies and complaints which will be attended to because the telephone lines at Mhala police station Community Service Centre will not be accessible for the duration of closure.

“The building will be decontaminated and services will resume normally at the station on Wednesday, July 1.

“The SAPS management apologises for any inconvenience that may arise from this and the station commander. Colonel John Ngwenya, can also be contacted at 082 565 8438,” he said.

Hlathi said all those that came into contact with the officer would be asked to isolate. However, he could not say how many officers that was.

A few days ago, Johannesburg Central Police Station members were angry over the handling of Covid-19 cases and decontamination of the station after 10 members allegedly tested positive for the virus.

A week earlier, an officer at the station collapsed and died but the SAPS refuted claims he succumbed to the virus, stating it was a heart attack.

An officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said positive cases were being confirmed each week, but management refused to be transparent.

“We are working in fear at the station. We are told that senior members are on leave all of a sudden and we find it hard to believe because we don’t know if they have tested positive or not,” she said.

“It is likely that each week there will be rumours of someone being found positive, but we’re kept in the dark. At the moment we know of 10 members who are in quarantine and that has strained us because now we should cover for them.”

Police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza also confirmed there were some cases at the station.

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