Twelve arrests at Muizenberg site

2017-03-07 06:00

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After receiving various complaints of trespassing and antisocial behaviour at the Battle of Muizenberg site, Muizenberg police carried out an operation on Wednesday.

Twelve people, who were sleeping in makeshift structures, were arrested and charged for trespassing. Two toddlers and a child were removed by social workers and taken to a place of safety.

The operation, which had been planned with ward councillor Aimee Kuhl, the Department of Social Development and Law Enforcement, will hopefully “send out a message that Muizenberg police will not tolerate antisocial behaviour”, says Muizenberg police spokesperson Captain Stephen Knapp.

The twelve people, aged between 20 and 41 years, were found guilty in the Muizenberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and were sentenced to R2000 or two months’ imprisonment, suspended for five years.

Lieutenant-Colonel Maggie Rossouw, acting station commander of Muizenberg police, has assured the public that raids will continue, but believes that a long-term solution can only be achieved through a combined effort by all stakeholders.

Kuhl adds: “Several serious incidences were brought to my attention as the councillor by Muizenberg residents on social media pertaining to the individuals staying on the Muizenberg battlefield site. In addition to this, I received a formal letter from the neighbouring residents complaining about the reckless behaviour displayed on site.”

City of Cape Town officials have started cleansing but the “extent of waste that needs to be removed is significant”, Kuhl says.

“I will be engaging with property management to finally find a sustainable solution to adequately secure and maintain the site. I urge all residents of Muizenberg who visit the area to keep an eye out. Alert the authorities immediately should you witness trespassing or other illegal activities. Only together will we be able to prevent further criminal activities on site.”

New fencing and signs were recently installed at the site as ongoing vagrancy may be causing irreversible damage (“Help for vagrants”, People’s Post, 6 December 2016).

Various operations at the site have been carried out by police, Law Enforcement and local neighbourhood watch members.

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