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SAPS backtracks on Khayelitsha station promise

Crime & Courts
Cape Town – Police appear to have backtracked on previous assurances that a fourth police station would be built in Khayelitsha, where the murder rate ranks as one of the worst in the country.

The national Public Works Department confirmed that besides the R100 million that had been set aside for the upgrade and extension of the Muizenberg police station, it had not received any other requests for additional stations in Cape Town.

This flies in the face of what former provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer said in 2014, when he told the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry that a new police station would be built in the Makhaza informal settlement.

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File picture: Skyler Reid/Independent Media

However, Public Works spokesperson Thami Mchunu said: “The Department of Public Works has not received any requests from the police for new police station developments in Cape Town.”

Mchunu said the R100m budget for the Muizenberg police station was approved “because it was on the police’s capital works priority list”.

The Social Justice Coalition’s Chumani Salid described the move as “illogical” and said they would oppose the construction.

“The plan to build the police station in Muizenberg confirms the SJC’s argument that the police service is allocating resources to white areas to the detriment of black communities,” Sali said.

“It’s high time for the police to systematically transform. Clearly the deployment of black people into senior management of the police is not enough."

“We demand a Theoretical Human Resources Requirements system that will ensure that poor black working-class communities are prioritised.”

Sali said the SJC was considering approaching the courts to interdict the building of the police station in Muizenberg. “We are also calling on the public protector to investigate how a mere police station would amount to R100m.”

During a visit by President Jacob Zuma to Nyanga, which is infamously known as the country’s “murder capital,” police bosses informed him that area too needed an additional police station.

Nyanga station commissioner Vuyisile Ncata and cluster commander Moses Memela told Zuma they had requested the station be built in the Samora Machel informal settlement, but that the idea was shot down in favour of a clinic.

Zuma responded: “We need clinics, that’s a fact. But we also need police stations; I think it’s a question of priority.”

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said he had received numerous complaints about the proposed extension of the Muizenberg station.

“As part of my oversight mandate over policing, I will insist on feedback from the police at our next meeting for clarity in this regard. We have to ask the difficult questions from the police about the promised police stations in Nyanga, Makhaza and other communities.”

Repeated requests for comment from police went unanswered.

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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