'This police station is a whore house' - Reiger Park residents

2017-03-09 15:36
Protesters in Reiger Park blocked roads. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Protesters in Reiger Park blocked roads. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Reiger Park community troubled by more than just housing matters

2017-03-09 14:57

Hundreds of Reiger Park residents took the streets on Thursday over housing.WATCH

Johannesburg - A group of angry residents from Reiger Park, Boksburg, gathered outside the local police station, demanding the release of two protesters they claim were arrested on Thursday afternoon. 

"This police station is a fucking whore house. The criminals are walking around us.

All they do is drive around with women in the police vans," one resident said.

The woman said the police officers at the station were unhelpful.

"When you come to the Reiger Park police station, there is never a police van or anyone to help you," she said.

The residents claimed that two protesters were arrested on Thursday afternoon. However, after a confrontation with police, they were told that only one person had been arrested and that the arrest was for cable theft.

Earlier, a large group of Reiger Park residents gathered in front of the Ekurhuleni municipality's offices, demanding to be addressed by the housing MMC on the allocation RDP houses.

'We want houses now'

There was a tense stand-off between the group and the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department in front of the entrance of the building.

"Die plek gaan brand (This place is going to burn)," residents shouted.

Others held up placards reading: "We want houses now" and "We can't stay in back rooms generation to generation".

They demanded that the MMC come and address them. "Let him [come] out, he is not the president," one resident shouted.

Human Settlements MMC Lesiba Mpya later told the group that he would be conducting site visits in the area on Monday.

"The department will put together a task team to look at some of the issues in the community. There will also be public engagements where residents in the area can raise their concerns," he said.

Lydia Kruger, who has been living in Reiger Park for 30 years, said the community had lost faith in the police.

"The police do nothing for us. We open cases, but nothing happens. They broke into my house, they never showed up. I had an incident where a man showed up on my doorstep with a gun - they never came," Kruger said.

Kruger said police call residents "boesmans".  


Schoolboy shot

Earlier in the morning, five people were injured when police used rubber bullets to disperse a crowd which had turned violent.

"If there are people injured, you must know the situation is tense, but under control," EMPD spokesperson Kobeli Mokheseng said.

Meanwhile, a 17-year-old said he was shot in the head on his way to school as the protest went on.

His mother told News24 that a police officer wanted to arrest the teenager after he got back from hospital.

"I asked him what is going on now. He told me he is going to arrest my child for public violence," she said.

She said he was taken into a room and the door was locked.

According to the boy, the police officer had slapped him in the face.

The 17-year-old battled to hold back his tears as his mother held him.

"We are going to open a case now. They can't do this to my child," the boy's mother said.

Most of the residents had left the police station by early afternoon on Thursday.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  protests  |  service delivery

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