Cele appeals to Home Affairs to check status of more than 500 spaza shops in Free State

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Police Minister Bheki Cele has appealed to the Department of Home Affairs to check the status of more than 500 spaza shop owners in Botshabelo in the Free State.

This, after residents told him during an imbizo, that many of the foreign nationals who owned spaza shops in the area also sold drugs.

They say police do not arrest them despite residents’ reports.

Cele was speaking in Botshablo during a follow-up to the Presidential Imbizo that took place earlier this month in Bloemfontein.

“We came here, we listened to the police and they said they are short of 55 officers. The shortage of police here is more than 60. Therefore, for them to do their job from the national office, we must assist them.”

Residents of Botshabelo in the Free State say corruption in the police service has continued to hamper the fight against crime.

They say criminals are arrested, but released shortly after because police allegedly receive bribes and dockets go missing.

The residents engaged with Police Minister Bheki Cele yesterday, during the Ministerial Crime Prevention Imbizo about the challenges that they face in the area.

Thabang Motoko, who is from the Mangaung Anti-Gangsters and Community Safety, says they don’t trust the police.

“Our problems as Mangaung anti-gangsters and community safety is that we no longer trust police because we don’t know who is right and who is wrong, because we give them information but they deal with criminals. But anyhow we have a programme that needs support from government and private company to support us.”

In the past few weeks, South Africans have been up in arms fighting against illegal foreign nationals in the country, the unrest resulted to the killing of Elvis Nyathi.

Diepsloot Protest | Police taking statements from witnesses following the alleged mob attack killing: 

International Relations Minister, Doctor Naledi Pandor, also added her voice, saying violence against foreign nationals cannot be tolerated.

Her statement came after a man was stoned and set alight in a mob attack in Diepsloot north-west of Johannesburg.

The attack comes after residents of Diepsloot embarked on a protest over escalating crime. They barricaded roads with burning tyres.

This after at least eight people were shot dead and 14 others wounded recently.