Shop owner waits 24 hours for cops to arrive

2009-11-19 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance has accused the SA Police Service of incompetence, after it allegedly failed to respond promptly to a distress call from an Imbali man whose shop was broken into.

Samson Radebe allegedly spent 24 hours guarding his own supermarket in a desperate attempt to safeguard his belongings, after police from the nearby Plessislaer station failed to help.

MPL Sizwe Mchunu, DA spokesman for community safety in KwaZulu-Natal, said Radebe spent the night of November 13 at his store after he discovered the break-in at around 9 pm.

“Mr Radebe reported the incident to the Plessislaer police station, who responded in good time. He was told not to touch anything as the fingerprint experts would be arriving shortly. At 1 pm the next day he was still waiting — with no case number and no fingerprints having been taken.”

Mchunu said he received a call from a distressed Radebe the afternoon after the break-in. “The poor man was still sitting in his shop, waiting.”

Mchunu said that when the police officers arrived, they said they could not lift any fingerprints due to dust that had settled overnight and the fact that water from the fridges, which had to be left open after they were tampered with, had erased any other prints.

Mchunu said the same supermarket was bombed in 2000. Despite the matter being reported and investigated, Radebe has never received any feedback and there has been no court date set or follow-up since.

The store was also robbed in 2005, said Mchunu, with tills destroyed and a large number of items stolen. “Again … no feedback whatsoever.”

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