Gauteng wants more 'impimpis'
Johannesburg - The Gauteng government wants
to make more use of "impimpis" or police informants to catch
criminals selling stolen goods, community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko said on
"In the apartheid days, the police used
to use impimpis to catch activisits," Mazibuko said at a press conference
in Johannesburg on Thursday.
"We want those impimpis to help us fight
this scourge of people who are stealing goods and selling them," she said.
"You will be arrested if you got a
second-hand something that you can’t even present a receipt for.
"We are going to monitor each and every
detective in Gauteng to make sure they have at least four registered
Mazibuko, who was speaking after a meeting
between the police and the Gauteng government, said the police in the province
would also focus on scrapyards selling stolen cables, manhole and pipes.
"People are after these pipes we find in
hostels," she said.
"In Midvaal, the whole block of one
street, the water meters were stolen.
"In Diepkloof, almost every two months
the lights outside of people's homes are stolen or vandalised.
"It shows there is a syndicate out there
that is buying these lights. It shows there is a market for these things."
Mazibuko urged people in the province, which
contributes 50% of South Africa’s crime, to take back their neighbourhoods from
"We can't be a population of 11 million,
but we are being terrorised by a few people.
"Let’s protect ourselves by
participating in Community Police Forums and the community patrol movement. We
can’t sit and fold our arms while we are being terrorised."
Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant
General Mzwandile Petros said at the briefing that the police were going to
take a hard line on people who were in the possession of stolen goods.
"We need to be in position to stop the
market," he said.
"We will arrest you if you are in
possession of a stolen phone. If you drive a BMW and didn’t buy it from BMW, we
will lock you up."
Petros said that 256 police officials had
been arrested for corruption in Gauteng since September.
Corrupt police were involved in all types of
crime, he said.
"If you talk hijacking of buildings,
they are there, drugs, they are there. You name it they are there."
He said the police’s strategy of "taking
back" the Johannesburg city centre was "on track".
"How will it look like in Gauteng when
it is safe. My measure where I am is when I can see big business coming back an
investing in city centre. Then we will be safe."
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the
provincial government was looking at banning the sale of alcohol on Sundays.
"The proliferation of liquor outlets is
[the] number [one] generator of crime," she said.
"We want to say bottle stores must close
off on Sunday. Let’s have a break. Go to church or go to a jazz club and so on.
"It [the sale of alcohol on Sundays] is
killing the moral fibre of our society.
"We have to make sure we balance your
economic growth against the decay of our communities."