Subforum election fails

2016-03-15 06:00
Lansdowne residents from sector 2 gathered at Groenvlei High to discuss crime in their area. A special election for a sub forum was also set to take place but this did not materialise after nominations were not received.

Lansdowne residents from sector 2 gathered at Groenvlei High to discuss crime in their area. A special election for a sub forum was also set to take place but this did not materialise after nominations were not received. (Chevon Booysen )

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There is currently no functioning subsector forum in sector one of the Lansdowne policing precinct.

A public meeting with police and what was supposed to be a special elective subforum meeting last Tuesday ended with no subforum members elected.

Sector one of the policing precinct covers Lansdowne, Groenvlei, Wetton Turfhall Park, Woodlands Park, Freedom Park, ­Ottery, Greenfield Circle and Sierra Park.

The special election was to be held after the previous structure had become dormant in October last year, says Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka, Lansdowne police spokesperson. Members all resigned “one by one”.

While trying to elect the new forum, Ra­fique Foflonker, chairperson of the local community police forum (CPF), encouraged potential candidates to “not be afraid of the responsibility”.

“We know that sector one is the largest sector in the precinct, but we need to have people take it upon themselves to join hands with the police and make the area a safer place. There are many issues that arise in this sector, but that is why the CPF and police are there to lend themselves as supporting structures,” Foflonker said.

Colonel Herman Seals, Lansdowne station commander, said the area was “initially a problem”, adding that prostitution, especially, was a concern.

“However, in recent months this has changed. We can definitely say in the last four months there has been a change and we are getting somewhere,” he said.

Ward councillor Anthea Green agreed prostitution was a concern in the area.

“We interact with these prostitutes on a daily basis and this is a social issue that must be tackled. We need to remember that these people are humans too,” she said.

Green added that the vice squad of the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement had helped in operations in the area previously and “another one will take place during April or May”.

With regard to crime prevention in the precinct Seals said he had visited a few neighbourhood watches in the precinct a few weeks ago. He felt positive about the work being done by these structures.

“I definitely saw commitment from the neighbourhood watches and them willing to breach the communication gap between the police and the community. However, we do also encourage that a good subforum be elected for this sector to help the neighbourhood watches in the area,” he said.

These pleas were, however, in vain when election time came around as only one person volunteered for the position of chairperson.

Seals stopped the election process after Foflonker had tried repeatedly to get nominations from those in attendance.

“We will have to reconvene another meeting for this election as we are getting nowhere at the moment,” Seals said.

During the meeting members of the Groenvlei Neighbourhood Watch left abruptly after a question to Foflonker about the watch receiving notice from the police that it had been “dissolved”.

Kurt Thompson, who served as project co-ordinator on the previous subforum and is a member of the Groenvlei watch, challenged Foflonker, saying that the watch had been “patrolling continuously”.

“Our neighbourhood watch just received a letter to say we are dissolved, even though we are registered. Prior to this letter we received no communication from the previous subforum or anybody else requesting to attend meetings,” he said.

Byron Dowman, who served as the spokesperson of the previous subforum and is also a Groenvlei watch member, said dissolving their structure was “an embarrassment”.

“Are you telling me that we have been patrolling like monkeys for nothing? We received no communication from anybody prior to our communication received from Mnyaka and that was to say the structure was dissolved,” he said.
Foflonker said the watch had been contacted “on a number of occasions before but with no response”.
“The structure has an opportunity to appeal this decision. We will table this discussion and address it offline, as this is not the correct forum,” Foflonker said.

If you would like to report crime in the area, contact Lansdowne sector manager Constable Elsi ­Lucas on 079 893 9835.

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