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Joburg police down tools over pay

JOHANNESBURG, June 25 – The metro police force of South Africa’s crime ridden economic capital, Johannesburg, downed tools on Wednesday protesting unfair salary rates and nepotism.

The South African Municipal Workers Union said the protest was triggered by a report on salary structures, which was delivered to officers earlier in the day.

"We were not satisfied with the issue of salaries," said union spokeperson Vincent Vena.

"Newly employed officers are being paid 4,500 rand (365 euros) instead of the entry level salary of 8,250 rand (670 euros)," Vena told AFP.

Over 500 of the metro police workforce protested outside police headquarters in downtown Johannesburg demanding that city officials come to speak to them regarding issues of "nepotism" in the police force.

"Officers who started working in Johannesburg together are being paid different salaries because of their relationships with senior police officials," said Vena.

The union said the officers will not return to work until their demands have been answered.

The city police are responsible for enforcing city bylaws and administering traffic offences.

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Vena told AFP that the metro police planned to bring the city to a grinding halt by blockading all major roads and freeways around Johannesburg in a bid to bring attention to their grievances.

Police in South Africa face an uphill battle against sky-high crime rate — one of the worst in the world, with more than 50 murders occurring every day.

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