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Legality of JMPD impounding vehicles in question

Eyewitness News has seen a copy of a memo from the City of Joburg's head of legal Mogashoa in which he advises against impounding vehicles as it is illegal and therefore poses a risk of financial liability.

FILE: JMPD officers stopping vehicles during a roadblock. Picture: @AsktheChiefJMPD/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Joburg Metro Police are adamant they will continue to impound vehicles despite the city's legal department warning that it is illegal and posed a risk of financial liability.

The city's head of legal Isaac Mogashoa has instructed the JMPD to stop the impoundments and release vehicles already in the authority's possession.

It is common practice for the JMPD to impound vehicles because they are unlicenced, unregistered or unroadworthy.

Eyewitness News has seen a copy of a memo from the City of Joburg's head of legal Mogashoa in which he advises against impounding vehicles as it is illegal and therefore poses a risk of financial liability.

But JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said they would continue.

"Because those vehicles are in such an unroadworthy state they get impounded. But the fine for illegal dumping is very high because of the huge problem that is sitting in the city where rubble gets dumped and it's big companies that use the small contractors."

Minnaar said that Mogashoa could direct that impounded vehicle be released to their owners.

"The role and function of the legal department is to give legal advice and to guide JMPD until such directive from the legal department is null and void."

The fines for dumping that start at R10,000 have been promulgated by the city and JMPD will continue to impose them.