‘I no longer call the police’

2013-01-25 21:58

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Muldersdrift resident Victor Kaap, a victim of three house robberies, no longer phones the police for assistance.

Kaap attended a community meeting in the crime-stricken area, northwest of Johannesburg, with Gauteng police boss Mzwandile Petros last night.

He has been living in the area for 25 years and has given up on the police.

A spate of killings took place late last year in the area and many households and businesses have fallen victim to robberies.

Jacques Botha, Andre Jordaan and Alyssa Botha were killed late last year in separate incidents.

Christa Degenhardt of Rietfontein, not far from Clinic Road where 13-year-old Alyssa Botha was killed, said communication with the police was dismal. “We require feedback on concerns raised. How do we identify policemen in the area when there are people in the area riding in cars and wearing uniforms while they are not part of the force?” she said.

Molefe Melato of Lanseria, a squatter camp in the area, said police officials “often harass shop owners rather than helping them,” and do not deal with issues affecting the community.

Community members said the inactive policing made it hard for them “to have faith in the police”.

Petros, who has been tasked with lowering the crime rate in the country’s most populous province since 2010, said the gang crimes in the area were “organised by people in the town” and not outsiders.

Addressing the issue of police corruption, Petros said since 2010, 856 of officers had been arrested and that the SAPS would continue to apprehend those who tainted the image and integrity of the police.

Petros acknowledged that Muldersdrift was not the place it was thirty years ago but motivated people to be active participants against crime. “You need to have a combination of approaches when combating crime in Muldersdrift,” he said.

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