Muizenberg police make-up for error

The distress call made by Marina da Gama resident Elma Rivera to a radio station about Muizenberg police station, has ended on a positive note.

Ms Rivera woke on Tuesday morning August 23 to find what appeared to be a makeshift raft moored outside her home. Suspecting that burglars could use it to ferry off their loot, Ms Rivera called Muizenberg police station for help.

She was told by the woman who answered the phone that no-one was available to respond to any call-outs during shift change at the station between 5.45am and 6am.

She called CapeTalk, and one its producers received the same response when he called the station.

Later, CapeTalk presenter Kieno Kammies called Muizenberg station commander Colonel Ishmail Daniels live on air and asked him to explain. Colonel Daniels confirmed there was a shift change, but officers were nevertheless required to make arrangement to accommodate any emergency calls at that time.

Speaking to the Echo, Ms Rivera said the police had “responded fantastically” after she called the radio station.

She said that by 7am on Tuesday, she had Colonel Daniels, two sergeants and two generals at her home to investigate.

And a police captain had come to her home that evening to take a full statement.

“They have taken it very seriously and have acted on my complaint.

“I truly didn’t mean to create the furore that happened, but good has come from it because now they have structured their staff so that there are officers on stand-by during shift change, to attend to any possible emergencies,” Ms Rivera said.

Muizenberg police spokesman Captain Stephen Knapp confirmed the incident and said their investigations revealed that the wooden structure which was moored at Ms Rivera’s home was actually a jetty from further up the Marina which had broken loose and drifted down to her home.

He said while reports of burglaries or robberies executed in this manner had never been reported to the police, it was “feasible” that criminals could gain access to homes from the waterways.

He said the police provided a 24-hour service and an internal investigation had been launched into the Tuesday morning incident and disciplinary action would be taken if found to be necessary.