More than 50 police members, including 30 tactical response team (TRT) members, and 16 new vehicles will be deployed to Diepsloot from Wednesday evening to ensure that crime fighting in the area is strengthened.
This move was announced by police minister Bheki Cele as he addressed the community after it threatened to shut down the township after widespread criminality in the past few months.
It is understood 11 people were killed in the township between October and December 31 last year, but only four people have been arrested in connection with some of the murders. There were reports at the weekend that between five and seven people were killed in the area.
Addressing a crowd outside the Diepsloot police station on Wednesday afternoon, Cele acknowledged that the community was angry. He said he would leave behind the TRT members, popularly known as “amaberete”, who had accompanied him to Diepsloot.
“That is the first thing … We will add more and they will sleep here and work. After that, we will add public order policing [POP] to work here who will not leave until we come back and speak to you,” Cele said.
The minister said there were reports that the area was serviced by only eight police vehicles — he revealed that the number was actually less.
“There are actually six. From tonight the new police commissioner [Gen Fannie Masemola] will bring in 10 vehicles and the province will add six. There will be 16 new vehicles.”
Cele said on top of the 30 TRT members and 20 POP members to be deployed, police management will send a team of detectives to work and investigate the murders.
“We will bring them with three cars. These are the things that are happening as we speak.”
He said his team would return on Friday to discuss with the community leaders what more needs to be done to fight crime in the area.
Addressing the media afterwards on the question of undocumented immigrants, who some accuse of being behind the spate of crime in the area, Cele said everything the police do must be within the confines of the law.
“On Friday we will come with home affairs minister [Aaron] Motsoaledi, who deals with immigration issues,” Cele said, adding that anyone who does not have correct papers will not be allowed in the area.
“We are not the experts on immigration. We are experts in dealing with criminals. One thing that was raised by community is that there is a place called section 1 where illegal immigrants live. We want to know who are the landlords who have been accommodating those people.”
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