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Show of force by cops, army in Soul City

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Residents in Soul City, Galeshewe, made use of the lockdown to spring clean, under the watchful eyes of heavily armed police and military personnel.

RESIDENTS in Soul City, Galeshewe, on Thursday made use of the lockdown to do some spring cleaning, under the watchful eye of heavily-armed police and military personnel who took over the streets.

The forces gathered on Thursday morning in an open area in Soul City before forming different teams to patrol the streets.

Many residents were uncertain whether this was a routine patrol by the forces or whether it was to enforce lokdown regulations.

Some residents have complained about the nonchalant attitude of many people who have continued their daily lives as normal, seemingly ignoring the 21-day lockdown. “Here the shebeens operate until the early hours of the morning and tuck shops only close late at night,” one resident stated.

They have also expressed concern about groups of children loitering in the streets and crowding near a fish and chip outlet in the area.

One resident indicated that he had called the police several times to patrol the area or present a show of force. “They come but then they just disappear again,” he said.

“Most times the police just drive past, mostly on the main Nobengula Road.

“I also once called the police about  a shebeen that operates until late at night but nothing has been done so far.”

He added that residents were accustomed to seeing police activity at  the Tswelopele Correctional Centre. “So people aren’t worried when they see the police go past. They just ignore them.”

Apart from cleaning their homes and yards, several residents in Soul City also walked past the police officials and soldiers, while others stood and watched on as they prepared for their patrols.

One resident walked past the police with a wheelbarrow full of rubbish and tree branches and dumped it nearby as the law enforcers stood by and watched.

As the patrols moved through the streets, residents disappeared into their yards, moving back into the streets once they had gone around the corner.