Residents of Kimberley’s Galeshewe township say escalating crime is robbing them of their freedom of movement and the right to safety.
Residents report an increase in serious crimes in the area since a community anti-crime group stopped operating there.
The group suspended operations in the area earlier this year after a foreign national was allegedly killed during one of their operations.
It’s been a common refrain among residents of the Northern Cape’s oldest township in recent weeks, claiming that robberies, break-ins, stabbings, and assaults have increased.
Resident Gabriel Mokwa blames the escalation of crime on drugs and alcohol. “There’s a lot of crime there. People are hijacking, hitting people, robbing their cellphones and rape in Kimberley is too high.”
The biggest worry is violence against women and children. There have been two cases involving pre-teens in the last month.
11-year-old Relebogile Segami was raped and choked to death on March 30th her body was found in the bushes behind the Northern Cape Legislature building. While another man was caught, allegedly as he was trying to rape another 11-year-old just a week later.
Resident Tebogo Palweni says they want more police visibility in the area as well as a strong criminal justice system.
“Let the government and more especially the police services implement or come up with a strategy so as to how we can fight this criminal activity because it’s too much now.”
Galeshewe enjoyed relatively peaceful times when the anti-crime group patrolled the township. Residents hope they will soon be able to take to the streets again and they will be able to feel safe and enjoy their freedom of movement.
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