Johannesburg residents demand that police 'do their job', after 3 people killed in robbery

2018-06-22 15:15
SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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The Lenasia South community has expressed its frustration over the lack of service from their local police station, following the killing of three people during a robbery at a Shoprite store on Tuesday.

Residents marched to the police station in the early hours of Friday morning to demand answers.

Some burnt tyres in front of the Lenasia police station, while demanding to speak to the station commander.

The family of Soobramany "Bobby" Gounder, who is fighting for his life after being shot during the robbery at Shoprite in Lenasia South on Tuesday, says the police were not helpful.

READ: JMPD disperses crowd protesting over electricity in Lenasia

The 52-year-old's daughter, Jenny Reddy, 39, said her father had gone to Shoprite after work on the Golden Highway.

"It must have been between 17:30 and 18:00."

Reddy said that although the details surrounding the alleged robbery were unclear, she was informed that her father was one of four people who were shot during the incident.

"My father was not recorded [as an attempted murder victim] because, when the police arrived at the scene, he was already rushed to the hospital by a Good Samaritan."

The bullet entered Gounder's body through his back and exited through his chest.

"He is on life support at the Ahmed Kathrada Hospital and I have not been able to find out from him what happened."

When the family went to open a case at the Lenasia South police station, they were allegedly told that Gounder had to open the case himself.

'Police are not taking this case seriously'

Community Policing Forum member Zakariya Mamaniat said residents would be gathering at 20:00 on Friday night to march to the police station.

"We want answers on why they are not doing their job. Last night, we went to the police station and asked to speak to the person in charge, and they promised to provide us with answers today," he said.

One of the CPF patrollers, who asked not to be named, said residents were frustrated.

"We lost one of our valuable members of the community. He was shot and he died last night. One person died at the scene and one person died in the hospital."

The man said he did not want to be named because he did not want to be victimised by the police.

"The police have arrested some of the community members who were angry and decided to burn tyres in front of the police station. They opened a case of malicious damage to property against some of the community members."

The man said the community needed an intervention from police top brass.

Lenasia South Residents' Association chairperson Ishmail Sahib said residents were extremely unhappy with the police.

"We feel like the police are not taking this case seriously. The vehicle in which one of the deceased was found is still in the possession of the community and has not been taken by the forensics team."

He said that one of those killed was a Pakistani national and that his family had only received the case number on Thursday - after they had put pressure on the police because they wanted to bury him.

'The community does not need to be violent'

"The Lenasia South police have never delivered services to the people. The police are under resourced and we have been raising this matter with province, but instead, we get arrested and the police intimidate us for speaking out."

Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Murudili said the police were investigating two counts of murder.

"We are not aware of another death and the man who is allegedly in hospital," said Murudili, adding that no arrests had been made.

She said the acting national commissioner had issued a stern warning against people who attacked the police or police stations.

"It undermines the authority of the state. We regret the loss of life, but there are legal avenues to deal with grievances."

Murudili said it was common practice for the investigating officer to update the community.

"The investigating officer usually updates the family or someone appointed to speak to the police about the investigation. The community does not need to be violent, they can tell the police that they are concerned about the manner in which the investigation was being handled and we will investigate," she said.

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Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg  |  service delivery  |  crime  |  protests

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