Mbalula promises to send 'men in berets' to Springs

2017-07-20 20:51
Police minister, Fikile Mbalula addressing residents at the Springs police station. (Christopher Moagi, Daily Sun)

Police minister, Fikile Mbalula addressing residents at the Springs police station. (Christopher Moagi, Daily Sun)

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Johannesburg – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday promised to send the tactical response team to reduce crime in Springs.

“I am going to deploy the tactical response team (TRT). I am bringing back amaberete,” he said told a large crowd outside the Springs police station.

His audience cheered and applauded. Amaberete, or men in berets, were introduced under former national police commissioner Bheki Cele in 2009 to fight housebreakings, bank robberies, and cash-in-transit heists.

Mbalula received a memorandum in which residents called for a crime-free community. It contained 3200 signatures from members of various civil society organisations in KwaThema, Brakpan, and Springs.

They called for a crackdown on drugs, human trafficking, illegal firearms, violence against women and girls, and for the Springs police station to be renovated. Police morale was low due to their deplorable working conditions, they said in the memorandum.

Mbalula mentioned a case where a man attacked his wife in Alexandra, Johannesburg. He cut her face with a bottle and she withdrew the case. He shot and killed her and her brother.

“If a man slaps you, leave him,” he said.

He encouraged residents to work with police. There were hard-working officers at some police stations, and the corrupt ones would be rooted out, he said.

He said Eskom employee Thembisile Yende’s alleged killer was apprehended with the help of residents.

Mbalula told journalists before leaving that they had attended to ANC MP Makhosi Khoza’s case and that any political issues she had with the ANC would be resolved with them.

Khoza said earlier this week that she and her daughter had been receiving death threats for some time. This followed her criticism of the ANC and its leadership.

Parliament said on Tuesday it would work with police to provide her with protection.

“We will do whatever we have to do in terms of maintaining law and order, to Makhosi Khoza and whoever gets threatened by whoever, irrespective of what they represent in terms of their political ideas.

“Democracy requires us to protect all our citizens and not to allow anarchy to get out of hand,” he said.

He criticised her for divulging details about the threats on Facebook, including the cellphone number from which the messages were sent. He said this undermined the police’s efforts to find the culprits.

After he signed the memorandum, Mbalula told the large crowd he would be back. He then left for Alexandra.

Community members outside the Springs Police Station waiting for police minister, Fikile Mbalula to hand over a memorandum to him. (Christopher Moagi, Daily Sun)

Read more on:    saps  |  fikile mbalula  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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