Cele to deploy specialist police teams to Diepsloot after 7 people killed over weekend

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The aftermath of the protest in Diepsloot on Wednesday.
The aftermath of the protest in Diepsloot on Wednesday.
Gallo Images/Papi Morake
  • Police Minister Bheki Cele visited Diepsloot on Wednesday following a protest over killings in the suburb.
  • Cele said more police would be deployed to the area in the next 24 hours.
  • He added he would be back on Friday with Home Affairs officials to deal with the issues of undocumented foreign nationals.

In the next 24 hours, specialist police teams made up of the Tactical Response Team (TRT), Public Order Police (POP) and investigators, as well as additional patrol vehicles will descend on Diepsloot police station in Johannesburg to restore order.

This follows a spate of killings that triggered mass protests. 

On Wednesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Gauteng Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko and newly appointed national police commissioner General Fannie Masemola met with community leaders to calm tensions in Diepsloot.

According to Cele, seven people were killed in the area over the weekend.  

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"There are people who died here whose cases weren't investigated properly. From October to December, 11 people died, but only four were arrested, and that is why we will bring a team of detectives who will work on these cases only."

Residents protest in Diepsloot
Residents protesting in Diepsloot.
Gallo Images Gallo Images/Papi Morake

"We will bring them in three cars," he said, addressing a crowd of protesters that gathered outside Diepsloot police station. 

He added that in the next 24 hours, about 30 members of the TRT and POP would be deployed in the area.

"When we leave here today, these people wearing berets (TRT) who are here aren't leaving and will sleep here and do the work. After that, we will increase the number of Public Order Police to come and work here until we come back and speak about how things have changed in this area.

"The new national commissioner will bring 10 police vehicles from tonight, and the province will bring six more. This means that in the next 24 hours, the station will have 16 new cars." 

Aftermath of the protest in Diepsloot
The aftermath of the protest in Diepsloot on Wednesday.
Gallo Images Gallo Images/Papi Morake

The secretary of the Diepsloot Community Policing Forum, Kutlwano Moalosi, said that although they appreciated engaging with Cele, this was not the first time he had promised to deploy extra personnel. 

"We welcome the visit by the minister because he heard us crying and availed himself.

"I have faith in what he said because even last time he promised us when he was here with Minister Aaron Motsoaledi when foreign nationals allegedly killed our police captain, he came here and addressed us and promised to deploy TRT, which he did.

"However, it was a concern that they only worked for a week, if not three days. We raised this in the meeting with him," he added.

 

Cele conceded the last time he deployed members of the TRT to the area, "they did not sustain it". 

"What I will concede here is that we did not manage and sustain that project. It is on that score that, from what we have announced here today, we are coming back on Friday to have a programme going forward on how we sustain the things we have agreed on and have put here," he said. 

The community also complained about foreign nationals in the area, which Cele said would be addressed when he returned with Home Affairs officials on Friday.


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