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Johannesburg - The Joburg metro police department (JMPD) should be made up only of city residents.
This is the view of new JMPD chief Zwelibanzi Nyanda, who was speaking at his inauguration at Nasrec on Friday.
In an interview with The Star, Nyanda said he intended to create a force made up of the “sons and daughters of the city of Joburg”.
“I know this will provide a challenge and a difficulty in the selection process, but we need the real residents of the city on the force. They are the people who are proud of the area in which they live, they have a sense of community and belonging and will fight to protect their own.
“They are the ones who are dedicated and will not commit crimes against one another because of their sense of community.”
On accepting the position, Nyanda, who comes from a military background, said that after four weeks of orientation, he was well aware of the difficult task ahead.
“I am under no illusion of the ingrained mistrust among officers, of faltering discipline and low morale on the ground,” Nyanda said to thunderous applause from officers.
“I will be demanding loyalty and give a clear warning against favouritism, abuse of authority and corruption. There is no excuse for acts which embarrass or tarnish the image of the JMPD.”
“It is evident that policing is not about arrests, citations and the enforcement of by-laws. It is about stabilising democracy, safety and community involvement,” he said.
There would be strong collaboration with the SAPS, which would be an important factor in policing.
“We all have limited resources, but by pooling them we can achieve much. We look forward to making Joburg, which is the biggest city in the country, the safest and a place where criminals won’t have a place to stay. Joburg should lead the way in technology and smart policing.”
Speaking on corruption, he said this was not just a security problem, but one which started with education and changing socio-economic conditions.
“We cannot, on our own, deal with this… It is a societal problem.”
Welcoming the new chief, city manager Trevor Fowler said much had been achieved, but community involvement remained essential.
“The Joburg 10-plus programme is aimed at getting into communities and addressing their needs. The biggest question to be addressed is by-law enforcement as this is often where crimes start,” he said, giving the example of hijacked buildings.
“If health, fire and other by-law transgressions are addressed in the first place, this could prevent buildings being hijacked and turned into dens of crime,” he said.