Police Minister Bheki Cele says police are paying special attention to the situation in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria. A task team has been established to monitor and investigate the activities of a gang that’s been terrorizing local businesses and the community.
The gang dubbed ‘Boko Haram’ is allegedly involved in the hijacking of community project contracts as well as extorting money from local businesses.
Police to probe reports of terror gang in Mamelodi:
Two of the gang members have been arrested. They include one of the kingpins Vusi “Khekhe‘ Mathibela who is on trial for his involvement in the 2015 brutal murder of North West businessman Wandile Bozwane.
Cele says the group has no place to hide.
“Mamelodi, we went there, commissioner and I some time ago and we created a team, some people were picked up there. They’re in for a long time, they haven’t got bail. Cases are continuing. It’s true that the matter and the concern has been raised again. It looks like there are some new people who have sprung up in the place of their king and before that, I know for sure that the Gauteng management under the capable leadership of General Mawela is working on that. Maybe again, commissioner, as we had a very close look at the first batch of the people, we have to look at how successful are the police on this one because it keeps coming. There is a new batch of people there that are causing those similar problems.”
The DA in Gauteng has called on Cele to speed up the arrest of the group.
Gauteng’s DA Member of Legislature and Shadow MEC for Community, Safety Michael Shackleton says five cases of business robbery that were linked to the gang known as Boko Haram, have been reported to the police.
“But as the DA, I am working to keep the people of Mamelodi safe. About the contractor, hostels being taken over, I have been approached by many informants who have knowledge (of) who leads Boko Haram or used to be in the group themselves, and even residents from all walks of life and shopkeepers have told me how their spaza shops have been taken over by Boko Haram and how they’re forced to pay money to keep their shops alive,“ says Shackleton.
Concerned residents say they leave in fear and they want police to speedily arrest the gang.
“This Boko Haram is a problem. They must arrest them. They break into people’s houses, they kill and do all sort of things,“ says one resident.
“They must arrest them. We are suffering because of this gang,“ says another resident.
The party has therefore called for urgent measures to curb the violence and criminality of the gang.
Crime Stats Q3 2020/2021:
Murder saw an increase of 6.6%, see Infographic below for more:
Rape incidents are also on the increase, with Inanda and UMlazi in KwaZulu-Natal reporting the most cases:
House robberies and CIT heists on the rise, whilst business-related robberies saw a decline:
Cele says they need to re-visit their approach at fighting Cash-In-Transit heists “If we are to win against these thugs, SAPS must go back to the drawing board and work with speed.”
He promises that they will be engaging stakeholders in the cash-in-transit industry in the following week.
Dr Johan Burger is a Senior Researcher: Governance, Crime and Justice Division at the Institute of Security Studies: