Deputy minister vows police power

2015-09-15 06:00

National deputy police minister Maggie Sotyu has thrown her weight behind a proposal for a satellite police station in Masiphumelele and has pledged to push for funding to upgrade the Ocean View police station.

Sotyu and provincial police commissioner Major-General Thembisile Patekile attended a community meeting in Hout Bay, where residents and members of the community police forum (CPF) expressed their concern over slow response times by police and a lack of resources at the station.

Last month, Masiphumelele residents had marched to the police station to hand over a memorandum demanding more visible policing.

Some community members expressed disappointment after Sotyu cancelled her appearance in Ocean View ahead of the meeting.

The deputy minister was expected to appear at the Ocean View civic centre before embarking on a drive through Masiphumelele. However, she failed to arrive and community members say she didn’t give any notice.

Ocean View neighbourhood watch member Clive Simons says he was deeply disappointed. He had hoped to talk to the deputy minister about support for local crime fighters in eradicating drugs and gangsterism in the community.

“We are only a few guys and most of them are scared. We don’t get backup from the police,” he says.

However, following the public meeting, Sotyu visited the Ocean View police station in person, where she pledged to prioritise the station’s upgrade in the national service’s next three to five year plan.

DA chief whip Mark Wiley, who attended the public meeting and visit to the police station, described Sotyu as having a “positive reaction”.

She also addressed concerns about the relationship between the CPF and the police and concerns about “false” or incorrect crime statistics, Wiley says.

CPF representatives described the meeting as “fantastic”, saying the police top brass are “going to make Ocean View police station a priority”

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