Wanya Tsotsi ceases operations

2017-01-11 06:01
Operation Wanya Tsotsi crime fighting has suspended its operations.

Operation Wanya Tsotsi crime fighting has suspended its operations.

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It was with dissatisfaction that the members of Wanya Tsotsi announced the suspension of their operations after making good efforts in keeping the peace in and around the Sol Plaatje Municipality for months now.

The announcement was made on Thursday (05/01) at the Kagisho police station, where Pantsi Obusitse of Operation Wanya Tsotsi elaborated on their dissatisfaction around the poor treatment they had been receiving from the police.

According to him, the raw deal they got has led to at least 21 of their members facing different charges opened at the Galeshewe police station.

Although the crime fighters wish to continue their obligation and objective of ensuring the safety of their community, they claim to hit a rock whenever they try to build a relationship with government and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Obusitse addressed the media during the handover of the last batch of weapons and drugs that they had confiscated on New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day to the Kagiso police. He was flanked by his associates from different wards, including Ritchie.

The weapons were confiscated during massive patrols, which ensured that no lives were lost like in previous years.

“We are suspending Operation Wanya Tsotsi because cases are manufactured against us by members of the SAPS,” he explained.

Elaborating on some of the cases, Obusitse highlighted that upon investigation, they found the proper channels had not been followed.

He pointed out that their efforts in handing over suspects to the police after endless searches resulted in them being seen as the threat.

He emphasised they were willing to voluntarily work with the community if government and the men and women in blue would start getting rid of the rotten potatoes among them.

According to the members of Wanya Tsotsi, despite a lack of training, they have learned a great deal from their mistakes and the advice they had received from some SAPS officials.

“We do not have any obsession with taking over anyone’s job, but to protect our people from these criminals and from suffering at the hands of these rotten potatoes.

“A case of kidnapping was opened against some of our members after we handed over a suspect, who had broken into the St Peter’s Primary School, to the police.

“This is after the community had approached us about this case, in which the suspect stole 75 school chairs and sold them. Of these chairs, 50 were recovered after we forced him to tell us where he had sold them.”

Obusitse further singled out an incident in which they managed to apprehend a suspect who had burned his wife inside a shack and was sought by the police for over a week.

“We used our cars to search for him where he was hiding in Douglas Road and called the investigating officer.

“We used our resources, because we are always told there that there are no vans at the police station.

“But we were dissappointed to learn that the suspect was later advised to open a case against us.”

Operation Wanya Tsotsi gave an ultimatum to the Northern Cape government to give speedy feedback or give criminals the victory they want.

Regarding threats against Wanya Tsotsi members, Obusitse warned anyone against it and promised that they will not become sweethearts to protect themselves like other crime-fighting organisations.

“We have a good relationship with Saamstaan, but we will never be forced to become sweethearts like them, because we do not face the same kind of challenges on a daily basis.”

He urged members of the community to stand up to make the message of demanding their own safety clear to government.

“What is more concerning is that the law and justice system tend to protect the criminals more than the victims.”

He lashed out regarding remarks made by a magistrate during one of Wanya Tsotsi’s members’ bail appearances.

“A magistrate warned us that we are not special and that we will be locked up. That magistrate is surrounded by high walls at his house.

“It is so sad to realise that in this country someone always finds a way to destroy something good.

“Maybe it is due to the fact that we do not take bribes,” he said.

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