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‘Cops not doing their jobs’

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Community members did not have the know-how or resources to arrest criminals or prevent crime.

FED UP: Windsorton has seen service delivery protests since Tuesday, where tuck shops have been looted and roads closed. Seen here is a community meeting held yesterday with the SAPS and the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Lebogang Motlhaping.

WINDSORTON residents said that they are “gatvol” (fed up) with increasing crime in the area and accused the police of neglecting to perform their duties.

This follows a service delivery protest that took place on Tuesday, where the R374 road between Windsorton and Barkly West was barricaded with rocks.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi said that four tuck shops were looted on Tuesday, but no arrests had been made.

Residents agreed to abandon the protest after a meeting was arranged at a hall where they were addressed by the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Risimati Shivuri, and the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Lebogang Motlhaping, yesterday.

They complained that drug abuse and gangsterism was rife in the area.

“The tuck shops were looted and vandalised during the early hours of yesterday morning. There are not enough vehicles and yet the police officers use the vans to visit the taverns or transport their girlfriends. Nothing is being done to prevent the high prevalence of housebreaking, theft, murders and rapes. The police officers must not be drunk while they are on duty.”

Community members added that they did not have the know-how or resources to arrest criminals or prevent crime.

“There are not enough police officers to conduct patrols or fight crime. It appears as if the police are in cahoots with the drug dealers. We have lost all faith and trust in the police.”

The community demanded an entire overhaul of the SAPS management and booed the station commander.

“The station commander spat in the councillor’s face on Tuesday, while he was dressed in his uniform. We do not expect this level of disrespect from a person in such a high position.”

A concerned resident, Thabiso Stuurman, said that a teacher was attacked on Tuesday and it took three hours for the police to arrive on the scene.

“We are really not happy with the non-existent services provided by the SAPS. There is a very delayed response and when we call them they never respond to call-outs.”

Lloyd Madupi requested that a satellite police station to be established in Kutlwano township.

“The Windsorton police station is situated far away and it is not safe for the elderly to leave their homes to lay a charge in the middle of the night.”

The community added that they were without a community policing forum chairperson.

Another resident, Phemelo Mongale, believed that “insiders” were leaking information to drug lords ahead of drug raids.

“They are warned before the time to get rid of their stock so that nothing is found when their premises are searched.”

The local councillor, Boeta Saul, said he accepted the apology offered to him by the station commander.

“I hold no grudges. I understand that we are all human and that emotions were running high. I am happy at the outcome of the meeting and look forward to working with the station commander in the future,” said Saul.