Metro Police in Durban arrested two foreign nationals who were in possession of more than 150 bales of municipal toilet rolls suspected to be stolen, at a store on Umgeni Road, on Monday.
Metro Police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, said the arrests were effected during routine daily enforcement operations.
He said the operation was undertaken to check for compliance at businesses regarding business licenses and fire escapes when law enforcement officers discovered the toilet roll stock at a supermarket. “The toilet paper was branded and was confirmed to belong to the municipality. The two Ethiopian men refused to provide answers as to how they came to be in possession of the toilet roll bales. They were then arrested and charged and handed over to Durban Central police for further investigation,” Sewpersad added. He said, “The toilet paper stock was confiscated. A further inspection of goods also revealed expired food stuff. All items were seized from the shelves. This discovery has caused outrage on social media.”
Within hours of the incident being reported on social media, comments began flooding in. The outraged residents of eThekwini called for the city to investigate the origins of the dozens of branded tissues. ” *You should rather be charging the person in your department who stole the items and sold it to the owner of the store,” L.J Fouche wrote.
Colleen Durrheim said: ” *The shop owner needs to say who he bought it from and they need to be charged too. ,” A similar sentiment was shared by Sohail Bayat who said, ” *Now it’s time for the investigating officers to shine and identify the culprit within the municipality who was responsible for these goods ending up at a retailer,.” Over the past couple of years, the city has been dogged with allegations of corruption, stemming from the bottom to the top. According to the Democratic Alliance caucus leader, Nicole Graham, irregular expenditure for the metro reached R1.5bn. The city said the matter was still under investigation and further arrests are imminent. The municipality encouraged members of the public to report all forms of fraud, corruption and maladministration to the City Integrity and Investigations Unit on 0800 202 020 toll free.