Despite police interventions in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, residents say they are still living in fear as gunshots, robberies, and murder continue to burden the township. Diepsloot has been in the spotlight since April after a man died in a mob killing. Elvis Nyathi was allegedly dragged out of his house, beaten, stoned, and set alight.
A woman, who chose to remain anonymous, says she has lost her brother to crime in Diepsloot.
“Raping is not too much here in Diepsloot but killing, knives, guns, my brother was shot here and killed,” she says.
She says a number of murders and other violent crimes continue to be reported but people are afraid to come forward with information.
“The problem here is that people are scared. Even if they can see the crimes being committed and also see the perpetrators, they will never come forward because most people here are foreign nationals and they fear deportation.”
Extensions 1, 12, and 13 are said to be the crime hotspots as they are informal settlements with no street lights and proper roads.
Residents say they do not feel safe:
“I do not feel safe at all here. These criminals are very dangerous, some break into our shacks while we’re sleeping. We do see the police but nothing much has changed.”
[WARNING: Graphic Content] Victims of crime in Diepsloot share their ordeal:
Following the death of Elvis Nyathi, more police officers were deployed to the area to help curb crime in the area. However, the community says not much seems to have improved.
Community leader Sicelo Shezi says even if the police could do their best, it’s difficult to police an area that has no lights and proper roads.
“The COJ must ensure that information settlements are electrified and they should also improve access roads. Even the police and also emergency services such as ambulances are unable to access such roads.”
The police are yet to comment.
UPDATE | Diepsloot residents speak out: