Glebelands: Cops must stop making excuses, says activist

2015-12-18 13:10
(Picture: Gift of the Givers)

(Picture: Gift of the Givers)

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Durban - A community activist has called on the police to “stop making excuses” regarding a spate of killings at the Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi, Durban. 

Vanessa Burger was responding to comments made by KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni at a media conference on Thursday.

A daily newspaper reported that Ngobeni acknowledged the possibility of police involvement in a spate of murders at the hostel, and said that they were being dealt with.

Ngobeni also reportedly said policing the hostels was difficult, and that they needed community participation.

“The police need to be honest with the problem that they are dealing with, and with the structures in this province, which are deeply compromised, this is not possible. To claim that it is being dealt with and that the hostels are difficult to police are just excuses,” Burger said.

“To be honest, the entire criminal justice system has become politically compromised. There is no way we can expect to have independent investigations,” she added.

Fifty-six people have been killed at the hostel since March 2014, with the majority of the victims hailing from the Eastern Cape.

Burger said the killings started after block councils expressed their displeasure at the local councillor.

“It’s a section of the community that asked the local ward councillor to step down amidst widespread allegations. The community leaders were warned after they approached the regional structures to stop bringing the party into disrepute. Shortly after that, the killings started,” she said.

“The people in majority who have been targeted are related to that uprising in some way or another. The block councils were previously responsible for political mobilisations and when they started asking uncomfortable questions, they were seen as problematic,” Burger added.

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