Gauteng wants more 'impimpis'

2011-03-31 19:14

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 Thursday.

"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 informers."

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 criminals.

"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."

Read more on:    saps  |  johannesburg

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