Violence is more about jobs and drugs, say residents of Chicken Farm

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Police Minister Bheki Cele inspects the informal settlement in Kliptown on April 20, 2022 in Soweto. The visit comes after recent violent clashes and shootings in the Kliptown policing precinct and surrounding areas. Photo: Gallo Images/Papi Morake
Police Minister Bheki Cele inspects the informal settlement in Kliptown on April 20, 2022 in Soweto. The visit comes after recent violent clashes and shootings in the Kliptown policing precinct and surrounding areas. Photo: Gallo Images/Papi Morake

NEWS


The situation in the Chicken Farm informal settlement in Kliptown, Soweto, was mostly calm on Thursday after one person was killed there on Monday.

An altercation between members of the Operation Dudula movement and residents believed to be cable thieves left one man dead and another wounded earlier this week, but community members apportion blame for the high crime levels in the area to unemployment and the lack of service delivery.

The area has been at boiling point since Monday, when members of the Pimville and Kliptown communities marched to the informal settlement and attempted to apprehend alleged cable thieves.

READ: Cable thieves now armed with AK-47s

The incident resulted in Kgomotso Diale being shot and killed.

This prompted Police Minister Bheki Cele to visit the troubled area on Wednesday, where he received a briefing from the police about predominant crimes in the neighbourhood.

READ: Disgruntled Diepsloot residents voice their ordeal

Cele was accompanied by Operation Dudula leader Nhlanhla “Lux” Mohlauhi on a visit to Diale’s family home in Pimville.

The minister told community members that more had to be done to combat crime in the area.

He said that the Kliptown Police Station would be equipped with more detectives and vehicles to assist the men and women in blue to fight crime.

Cele said that a team of 12 detectives had been assembled to investigate Diale’s death, as well as cases of attempted murder after six people were shot in the informal settlement.

Speaking to residents near the Kliptown Hotel, Cele condemned acts of violence that occurred when communities were trying to resolve problems, and cautioned them to leave crime fighting to the police.

He said: 

We will not sit back and allow people to commit economic crimes to do as they want. Police will track down all the syndicates and arrest them.

However, residents who have been living in the informal settlement for more than 10 years said the rise in crime was due to the prevalence of drugs and the lack of employment opportunities.

April 21.2022. Vendors going on with their busines
Vendors going on with their business at Chicken Farm informal settlement in Kliptown. Photo: Tebogo Letsie


Thabang Serero said he had to build a shack in 2007 after he lost his job as a retail merchandiser and couldn’t find any other work.

He said: 

I’ve been surviving by doing odd jobs for a long time, but some people don’t have the skills to survive and they resort to crime. I also registered for an RDP house and nothing has happened.

Another Chicken Farm community member blamed the high rate of crime in the area on the lack of sports and recreational facilities.

Jemina Sibeko said she had been living in the informal settlement for 12 years and their pleas for sports facilities had fallen on deaf ears.

She said: 

The problem is that the youth here just sit and do nothing. We have been trying to get the ward councillor to help us facilitate youth development programmes, but our calls are always ignored.



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