Cele visits crime-ridden Marikana informal settlement

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The community of Marikana informal settlement in Vanderbijlpark in the Vaal has pleaded with Police Minister Bheki Cele to help them fight crime in their area. Cele was hosting an Imbizo in the area, as one of his many planned Imbizos in communities with high crime rate.

Tomorrow, Cele will visit Soweto in Johannesburg, to also speak to the community about crime and how they can work together with the police to curb it.

Cele was accompanied by National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola and Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko.

Cele says his office has been inundated with calls from community members urging him to intervene in the high crime rate in their areas.

The delegation was welcomed by a large crowd that voiced their concerns.

Ever since police began their operations in the informal settlement, 48 toy guns believed to have been used to commit some of the crimes were seized.

The community complained about the Vanderbijlpark police station being far away from them. Masemola responded by promising the community a police station.

“There’s a lot of violent crime in this area, there’s a lot of domestic crimes in this area. We are aware that the police station of Vanderbijlpark is also too far from here. So, Bophelong there must be a police station. So, we are in that process of acquiring a stand for the police station of Bophelong. Once we have finalised that, we will definitely come back and tell you.”

Masemola says three police vans have been reserved and are ready to be handed over to the community.

Cele says alcohol is also a contributing factor to some of the crimes.

“There are 250 shebeens here and 49 bottle stores. That’s a number greater than churches which are only 26. That is why we will have to talk to the Liquor Board. They can’t just dish out shebeens as if they are barneys. More the liquor, more the crime, especially rape and murder.”

Cele has promised that more police will be deployed to the area as they are trying to catchup with the police training backlog caused by COVID-19.