Polic­ing in Masi­phumelele gets a mo­bile boost

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NOLOY­ISO MTEMBU

RES­I­DENTS of trou­bled Masi­phumelele will be with­out a fully fledged po­lice sta­tion for sev­eral years, but they now have a “mo­bile com­mu­nity ser­vice cen­tre” – a minibus com­plete with a counter and two hold­ing cells each able to hold a stand­ing ar­restee.

And Deputy Po­lice Min­is­ter Mag­gie So­tyu, who opened the ser­vice cen­tre yes­ter­day, said a satel­lite sta­tion to be sit­u­ated near the in­for­mal set­tle­ment’s taxi rank, was on the cards.

So­tyu said land for the satel­lite sta­tion had been do­nated by the City of Cape Town and talks were un­der way.

The con­struc­tion of a per­ma­nent po­lice sta­tion would take time and in­volve at least five govern­ment de­part­ments. Res­i­dents of Masi­phumelele, plagued by vi­o­lent protests and vig­i­lante at­tacks, could not wait, she said.

“Masi­phumelele needs in­ter­ven­tion now. I am not a liar, you are not go­ing to get a per­ma­nent po­lice sta­tion now. I can­not prom­ise you some­thing I can­not de­liver.”

So­tyu’s speech was pre­ceded by that of Tshepo Mo­let­sane who said a mo­bile sta­tion was in­suf­fi­cient to tackle the crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity plagu­ing the area.

To cheers from com­mu­nity mem­bers, he said res­i­dents in af­flu­ent neigh­bour­ing ar­eas such as No­ord­hoek, Kom­metjie and Capri “should sup­port us when we fight drug deal­ers here be­cause your chil­dren are af­fected by drugs too”.

When So­tyu served in the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee for po­lice she thought it was pos­si­ble to get a fully fledged po­lice sta­tion in 24 months. “Now that I am with the po­lice, I know that is im­pos­si­ble. What I am here to de­liver is an in­terim mea­sure.”

So­tyu urged the com­mu­nity to look af­ter the mo­bile sta­tion and to use of it in­stead of trav­el­ling to Ocean View to report crime.

“We are also giv­ing you 20 po­lice of­fi­cers, four of whom are re­servists and eight pub­lic or­der po­lice.

Pro­tect this mo­bile sta­tion, pro­tect these of­fi­cers and do not cor­rupt them. They are hu­man like all of us.”

PIC­TURE: LEON LESTRADE

FIRST STEP: Deputy po­lice min­is­ter Mag­gie So­tyu opened a mo­bile po­lice sta­tion in Masi­phumelele yes­ter­day. The sta­tion is a minibus adapted to ac­com­mo­date a counter and chairs. There are two “hold­ing cells” in the van.

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