Vandalism: ‘Police did nothing’

2013-06-27 00:00

CATO Manor police officers could face the music for allegedly failing to protect government property destroyed by vandals in their presence.

Municipal offices in Cato Crest near Cato Manor belonging to ward 30 councillor Zanele Ndzoyiya and ward 101 councillors Mzimuni Ngiba were vandalised and burned in the early hours of Tuesday morning by protesters demanding the delivery of RDP houses.

Sibongiseni Dhlomo, the MEC for Health and the chairperson of the ANC in the eThekwini region, visited the area yesterday to address the community and assess the damage.

“We were very disappointed to hear that the municipal offices were burned down in front of police officer and they failed to act … I have since reported the matter to my counterpart, the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu,” said Dhlomo yesterday.

“We are also concerned about the safety of our councillor, because of what happened, a security company was now protecting his home,” he continued.

Mchunu’s spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane directed all questions about complaints against the police to Mchunu, saying Dhlomo would have directed the complaints to him. Attempts to speak to Mchunu last night were unsuccessful.

Dhlomo said that during their interaction with the community, they learned it was not the whole community who wanted the councillor ousted. “This was an act with criminal intent; it’s just a few people who are causing problems. More than 2 000 people had showed up and were all in unison that the councillor was an effective representative who assisted the community,” he said.

Councillor Ngiba reiterated that there were criminal elements in the matter. “They went at night destroying people’s houses and cars, and burning our offices and breaking into shops. Yet, in the morning they were nowhere to be found.”

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said the allegations against the police were serious and would warrant an investigation, but added: “It could never be true the police sat and did nothing … they did all they could and people have been arrested, which is a sign they were doing their jobs …”

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