Rosettenville residents fuming, despite Gigaba visit

2017-02-13 21:08
Police and community members during Gigaba's walk about in Rosettenville. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Police and community members during Gigaba's walk about in Rosettenville. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Johannesburg – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba’s visit to Rosettenville on Monday meant nothing, residents of the crime-riddled area said.

Just like the police’s presence, it would have no effect, some said.

“They come and arrest the guys and the same day they are out. Something must happen, because they do nothing. It is either the police station must burn or I don’t know,” an angry Matshidiso Mofokeng said.

They had had enough of the crime and violence in the area.

The 55-year-old woman had been living in Rosettenville since 2002.

She claimed that police were friends with the Nigerians in the area.

“They [police] come here and then they have drinks with the Nigerians. We have been reporting crime for many years. We are sick and tired of the Nigerians and the police.”

During his visit on Monday afternoon, Gigaba said the department and locals needed to agree on what to do. He appealed to residents not to take the law into their own hands.

“The concerns of the community are genuine, therefore we need to act.”

He said he had asked his department’s “community outreach programme” to visit areas populated by immigrants.

In Rosettenville, residents followed him around as he visited two of the 10 homes residents set alight on Saturday. They claimed they were being used as brothels and as hideouts for drug lords.

Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela said nine people were arrested over the weekend and that police were continuing to patrol the area.   

Community members held placards that read: “Drugs has no place in our community [sic]”.

One of the torched houses in Rosettenville, following the violent outbreak over the weekend. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Gigaba said the social development department would be called in to help children allegedly lured into prostitution. Investigations would be undertaken to determine if these children were victims of human trafficking.

A second resident, Ellen Dube, 37, said when they had referred matters the police, nothing happened.

“They do absolutely nothing, so what must we do? We take the matters into our own hands.”

She said Nigerians had told them that “money talks”. She had lived in the area for 10 years.

“We want the minister to issue the papers, so that these people can go back to their countries. Let them come here and visit. If they come for three months, let them stay for 3 months and go back. We don’t want them here,” she said.

Chadrack Kazembola, 17, who moved from Congo to South Africa 10 years ago, said he did not feel safe in the country anymore.

“In a moment of xenophobia, I feel unsafe. I feel that I am not safe in this country, because I need to watch out when I go to school and when I come back. I feel that I am constantly targeted.

“South Africa is my home and I grew up here,” he said.

Read more on:    malusi gigaba  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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