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Diepsloot residents threaten to capture police station

By Everson Luhanga

More than 10 people have been killed in #Diepsloot in the past two weeks. Leader, Loyiso Toyiya said the crime in Diepsloot is uncontrollable. "We want permanent solution to fight crime in our township."

Almost a dozen people have been killed in rampant crime in Diepsloot township, north of Johannesburg, in just two weeks.

And the residents are gatvol.

Dozens of residents marched through the streets of Diepsloot on Friday in protest against crime.

Residents from all extensions walked from Sarafina Park to the police station where Johannesburg District Commissioner Major General Max Masha received a memorandum of demands which included the immediate deployment of more police officers in the crime-ridden Gauteng township.

More than 10 people have been killed in the past two weeks, the latest being on Thursday night, where a man was gunned down in ext. 11.

Some of the leaders who organised the march are on bail after they were arrested for organising a similar march in June. They were released on R500 bail in June from the Randburg Magistrate’s Court

Besides being out on bail with one of their bail conditions being not to be involved or organising any violent protest, Lefa Nkala and Loyiso Toyiya led a peaceful march to the police station.

Speaking to the audience at the police station, Toyiya said the march they organised was against crime in their township and it was peaceful. “You will not see anyone breaking government infrastructure or any shop.

“Our main concern is crime in our community and we are pleading with the police to help us fight crime. We are not engaging in violent activity,” said Toyiya.

Toyiya told the police that if they are not doing anything to curb the scourge of crime, residents will be forced to take their belongings and find refuge at the police station which is safer than in their homes.

Lefa Nkala told District Commissioner General Masha that some of his police officers were arrested by residents after being found taking bribes. “It is shameful that when residents call for help, the police don’t respond.

“Sometimes they would say the place has bad road infrastructure which makes it hard for them to drive. But when they are taking bribes, they don’t mind driving on the same bad roads,” he said with residents cheering him.

Reading the memorandum, Nkala gave the police commissioner seven days to respond to their grievances. “We are giving you seven days to respond to our concerns. However, we need an immediate deployment of the Tactical Response Team (TRT) famously known as Amaberete.

Nkala took a swipe at the Gauteng crime warden known on the streets as Amapanyapanya. “We have seen them inside the police station certifying documents. They are not deployed to work inside the police station. They must be out there fighting crime.

Another leader, Vincent Ndou thanked everyone who attended the march. Vincent stressed to the residents who braved the scorching weather conditions to attend a march to disperse peacefully. “Let’s all disperse and no one should be seen breaking anything.

“Those found to be breaking infrastructure or shops would be deemed not part of this march.

The march had people of different formations and local organisations.

Pictured above: Dozens of Diepsloot residents who protested against crime on Friday.

Image source: Everson Luhanga.