Police Minister Bheki Cele says at least 30 members of the police’s tactical response team will remain in Diepsloot and 16 police vehicles will be positioned at the local police station over the next 24 hours.
Cele announced interim measures during a visit to the area to respond to demands by protesting Diepsloot residents on Wednesday.
Residents have listed issues like corruption, under-resourced and outnumbered police officers and the lax enforcement of immigration laws as some of the reasons why they were plagued by high levels of crime.
They accuse undocumented foreign nationals who came to live and work in South Africa of being behind a spate in violence and serious crimes, including rape and murder. The community also claims the local police station is not adequately equipped to handle cases.
Cele met with community leaders behind closed doors where he was joined by National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola, as well as Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko. Speaking to media following the meeting, Cele vowed to address the community’s long-standing grievances.
“What I will concede here is that we did not manage and sustain the project we had started. It is on that score that what we have announced here is that we are coming back Friday here to have a programme going forward ‘how do we sustain things that we have agreed?’
“The national commissioner is here and he’s bringing extra special units of TRT [tactical response teams], we’re bring POP to be here, people from metro, we’re bringing a special detective’s team to deal with the outstanding and cold cases, in the next 24 hours we’re bringing 16 more cars. But for those things to work, we’ll have to work together with the community here,” Cele said.
It’s unclear for how long the additional resources will be deployed to the area.
“We’ll have to discuss with the community that we’ll permanently assess together with the structures here,” Cele added.
Operation Dudula’s Nhlanhla “Lux” Mohlauli later arrived in the area and was led by a different group to an area reportedly where some undocumented foreigners were living.
TOO SCARED TO ENTER
Earlier on Wednesday, Ward 113 Councillor Abraham Mabuke said the area had been shut down by protestors over a spate of killings, including the recent attack on a family where a child was left orphaned and fighting for her life.
“As we speak, the child is in critical condition,” he told Eyewitness News.
Mabuke said killings had become a common occurrence in the area that eve police were afraid to patrol.
“There are almost six squatter camps where police are afraid to enter at night. We need Bheki Cele and the other ministers to sit down. We need electricity here in Extension 1 in all the streets so that when crime happens people and the police can enter.”
On Wednesday morning, Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko arrived but community members refused to speak with her.
Protestors told Eyewitness News that Cele had better not make any more empty promises.
Residents have been protesting at the gates of the local police station for a second day where they want more resources deployed. They said police simply couldn’t cope with high crime levels in the area.
A heavy police presence has been maintained where protesters have been singing slogans and holding placards lamenting the failure of government to provide basic services and manage undocumented nationals in the area.”