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Metro cops to take on window washers

Johannesburg - The Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) is expected to announce what action it will be taking against menacing windscreen washers who harass motorists at intersections.

The war against the windscreen washers is being led by Crime Line head and LeadSA ambassador Yusuf Abramjee, using his Twitter account and bringing it to the attention of authorities.

The LeadSA-backed Operation ke Molao (It's the Law) has clamped down on window washers, as well as beggars and hawkers. File photo: Boxer Ngwenya. Credit: THE STAR

“We are being inundated with complaints from motorists about the window washers at intersections in Johannesburg. Just this afternoon, one of our colleagues had her wiper broken at an intersection in Rivonia Road, Sandton. I have personally experienced harassment, intimidation and even criminality by some window washers at intersection, including the Grayston and Marlboro off-ramps,” he wrote to the JMPD.

Abramjee said he often complained to the metro police but the window washers always returned.

“This problem requires your urgent intervention and action. There are sufficient laws in place to deal with this problem, but we need implementation. More importantly, you need to please ensure they are removed on an ongoing basis.”

Abramjee has asked the City of Joburg and Tshwane city manager to intervene.

“It may well be argued that these window washers are trying to make a living. But when they behave the way they do, you have an obligation to act,” he told them.

His call is echoed by DA public safety spokesman Michael Sun. “While we are mindful of people who are trying to make a small earning and those who have to resort to trading on the streets, we cannot condone any kind of unlawful activity.”

Sun submitted a motion to the council calling for a debate on how the metro police could better enforce the by-laws and eradicate problems such as window washers. The Speaker did not think the motion was urgent and refused to table it.

“We will not stop here and will submit the motion again. The city’s government must realise that if a criminal pattern such as forced window washing is not stopped, there will be drastic consequences. I have seen a man getting out of the car and chasing a window washer with a bat. We cannot turn a blind eye and pretend this is not serious,” Sun said.

The JMPD was to announce a course of action for window washers and smash-and-grabbers on Wednesday.

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