Still no police station at Glebelands, despite Mbalula's promise

2017-11-10 20:46
Glebelands Hostel. (Gallo Images)

Glebelands Hostel. (Gallo Images)

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Durban – The notorious Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi is still without a police station, despite promises from Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula that one would be set up.

On September 15, News24 was present when Mbalula visited the hostel and promised that he would set up a satellite station within seven days.

However, almost two months later, they are still waiting. Mbalula's spokesperson, Vuyo Mhaga, said on Friday that the minister said, at the time, that the satellite would be opened within seven days "after the infrastructure was put in place".

READ: Glebelands Hostel hitman sentenced to life imprisonment

"The security infrastructure took the longest time and the satellite is almost complete. Everything else is in place and the satellite should be ready to open its doors soon," Mhaga said.

The minister and acting national police commissioner were copied in on correspondence independent researcher and human rights activist Vanessa Burger had sent to authorities.

"I have written to the parliamentary portfolio committee on policing on September 25 and again on November 6 regarding this, among other concerns," she said.

Hitmen and hijackers

However, she has not received a response. Ninety-five people have been killed at the hostel since 2014.

The number includes the bodies of two men, found at the hostel on Tuesday, with multiple gunshot wounds.

READ: Stolen guns fuel hits

Although further details on the shooting have not been disclosed, Burger said: "according to community sources, it appears that the two people who were killed at Block 52 are thought to have questioned the reason for recent collections and resisted handing over the money."

She said residents were becoming increasingly distressed that they have been forced continually to pay over money that they believe may be used to pay hitmen to kill other people.

"Known hitmen and hijackers have been leading the recent collections. They are feared, so residents have little choice if they wish to stay alive. This would not be the first time. Previously, others have also been killed because they refused to donate," she said.

READ: Where politicians ‘shop’ for hitmen

She added that the number of people "understood to have been killed by Glebelands hitmen" was now at 100.

"I can confirm the number of people understood to have been killed by Glebelands hitmen, not only at Glebelands, including taxi bosses and political killings across southern KZN and even in the Eastern Cape is now 100.

"The total also includes a few people who developed stress-related illnesses as a result of the extreme levels of violence and trauma they have been subjected to and who died as a result of these illnesses (strokes and heart attacks). Indirectly, the hitmen killed them too," said Burger.

More killings 

She emphasised that the deaths did not all take place at Glebelands, "but it is believed they were all killed by hitmen operating from the hostel".

One Glebelands resident, who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons, told News24: "People are still being killed. Maybe the minister was just politicking when he visited us."

He described the men, whose bodies were found on Tuesday, as ordinary residents who worked and shared a room.

READ: Bullet-riddled bodies found at notorious Glebelands hostel

"A group of men entered their room and opened fire on them. They both died at the scene. The situation is tense at the hostel," he said.

A former peace committee member at the hostel, who testified at the Moerane Commission in July, said every hostel resident was asked to contribute R50 before each hit was carried out.

The commission is investigating the underlying cause of political killings in KZN.

Read more on:    fikile mbalula  |  durban

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