‘We're glad something is being done’ - Manenberg school principal

2015-05-28 14:50
(<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Manenberg-SAPS/1575392312744936?fref=ts">Manenberg Saps, Facebook</a>)

(Manenberg Saps, Facebook)

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Cape Town - A Manenberg primary school principal says the community is glad their pleas are finally being heard, after another joint crime prevention operation was conducted in the embattled suburb on Thursday morning.

Western Cape police said in a statement that the police and army joined forces as part of Operation Fiela early on Thursday morning.

Many of the roads in Manenberg were closed and police conducted a search and seizure operation from 04:30 onwards.

The operation focused on drugs, illegal firearms and other criminal activities in the area, Captain FC Van Wyk said.

“The lock-down operation yielded significant results as one person was arrested for possession of an illegal 9mm firearm and ammunition.

“14 wanted suspects were arrested for several cases, and one female suspect was arrested for possession of tik."

The search and seizure operation was followed by patrols on the streets of Manenberg and along local schools in the area.

The army reportedly left the area at around 09:30.

‘Our pleas are being heard’

Brenda Manuel, principal of the Rio Grande Primary school in Manenberg, told News24 of how she had to pass through an army roadblock to enter the school’s premises on Thursday morning.

“There was only one way into the school,” she said.

“Cars weren’t allowed past the barriers, and we were questioned by the army as we tried to enter the school.”

Between 10 and 15 police and army vehicles were parked outside the school, she continued, and the army was patrolling the area in groups, with firearms clearly visible.

When asked how the sight of heavily-armed personnel affected her staff and pupils, Manuel said, “There is a sense of security, it’s a good thing.

“Our plea is being heard and something is finally being done. We are all for this,” she said.

Future raids

She did admit that future raids may cause concerns for personal property.

The blockades, she explained, essentially meant her staff travelling in vehicles would have to park very far from the school.

The cars’ owners, she said, were afraid that gangsters would strip the vehicles if they were parked outside the enclosed areas, a common occurrence in the suburb.

The raid is the second major operation to take place in Manenberg recently, with police having conducted one last week.

Major General Jeremy Vearey, meanwhile, commended the forces involved in Thursday’s operation.

He promised Manenberg residents that there would be other crime prevention initiatives in the area.

Read more on:    cape town  |  gang violence  |  narcotics  |  crime

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