Johannesburg blew R45m on a pound that never opened, according to former Metro Police chief David Tembe. In 2019, Tembe led a project to build a pound to keep thousands of impounded vehicles. allAfrica reports that the pound never opened, and the R45 million was gone. Tembe said the city needed to make a new pound because the existing one at Walmer Street had reached capacity and was slowly falling into a giant sinkhole. Criminals regularly stripped impounded car parts at the other pound in Dube, Soweto, so that was no good either. The new pound could accommodate 22,000 vehicles seized from national and provincial traffic police, SAPS and the JMPD. The revenue was to benefit the city.
Before the pound could open, Tembe was asked to leave his post as Metro Police chief in April 2020. He became a councillor for ActionSA and was appointed MMC for Public Safety in 2021. But then Mpho Phalatse was ousted as mayor in a DA-led coalition government, and her MMCs, including Tembe, lost their jobs — and their projects were put on hold.
Scrolla.Africa received no official explanation for why the city never opened the pound. But unofficial sources said the police were not happy to be relocated so close to the Denver/Cleveland hostels, where there were gun battles on many nights. “The police were afraid to move to this place because they were afraid of criminals in this area,” said one source.
Speaking to Scrolla.In Africa, Michael Sun, an MMC when the initial R40 million was approved, confirmed that the money was indeed given to the department. Sun said it is devastating to see taxpayers’ money wasted and unaccounted for.
Picture: X / MbalikaMthethwa
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