‘We will take the law into our own hands’: Diepsloot residents protest illegal immigrants

These promises were made on Wednesday as protesting residents accused the government of allowing Diepsloot to be taken over by criminals, with no police visibility or crime-fighting resources at the police station

Police minister Bheki Cele has promised to deal with crime in Diepsloot by bringing in 16 patrolling vehicles and deploying detectives to investigate 11 unsolved murders from last year.

These promises were made on Wednesday as protesting residents accused the government of allowing Diepsloot to be taken over by criminals, with no police visibility or crime-fighting resources at the police station.

The police station, which was opened in 2016, only had six cars that were servicing the township with a population of more than 130,000 people, Cele told the crowd.

“The new national commissioner [Gen Fannie Masemola] will bring 10 police vehicles and the province will bring six. In the next 24 hours there will be 16 new vehicles in the police station,” Cele said.

Cele, flanked by Gauteng premier David Makhura and Masemola, said he had been told during a meeting with community leaders that there were 11 residents who had been killed and whose cases had not been properly investigated since October last year.

“Only four people have been arrested so far. So, I will be bringing a team of detectives to investigate these cases. They will be a dedicated detectives’ team who will be stationed here,” he said.

He said more than 30 tactical response team (TRT) members and around 20 public order police were among the additional personnel that would be dispatched to the township.

He said the government would on Friday visit the area to deal with illegal immigrants and those who housed them with the help of the home affairs department.

“We will speak with the leadership on how we evict those who are here illegally and also deal with those who are keeping them and allowing them to rent.

“Anyone who has no documents to be here must not be here,” he told the crowds.

After his address, Cele indicated that he and the police and political leadership would visit the areas where residents were killed as well as “reception” an area known to be a stronghold of alleged criminals.

He said tomorrow’s visit would also include addressing other concerns expressed by residents, including roads and access to business opportunities, which, he said, would include SA Revenue Service officials.

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