Cape Town - A large group of protesters outside the Mitchells Plain precinct on Monday called for the police commander to go.
The Cape Flats Safety Forum along with residents were in full voice following the disappearance of firearms in November last year.
The station was in the spotlight throughout the week, after it was revealed that 15 firearms and eight imitation weapons used in criminal activities had been stolen from the station’s SAP-13 storeroom in November last year.
A 30-year-old police officer stationed in Mitchells Plain was arrested and dismissed from the SAPS.
The group, on the other hand, demanded that additional measures be taken as this was the second time firearms had vanished from the station.
Fourteen guns disappeared from the station in 2017, which prompted the suspension of then-station leader, Brigadier Cass Goolam, and five members of his management team. They were dismissed, but were reinstated a year later.
Abie Isaacs, chairperson of the Cape Flats Safety Forum and former Mitchells Plain Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson, said a thorough investigation should take place.
“We cannot have a situation where firearms continuously get stolen and there is no real probe around the issues.”
Isaacs claimed the incident was kept under wraps by Station Commander Jan Alexander, despite the visit from authorities in December.
“Why wasn’t it communicated with them?” he asked. “The national secretary occasionally comes to do random checks. It’s not 15 packets of sweets, but firearms killing innocent people.”
A memorandum was handed over to Alexander by the safety forum demanding he and his entire senior management team be suspended without pay.
It also called for the disbandment of the current CPF, a lifestyle audit to be done on all officers, and requested that Goolam and his senior management be reinstated.
Norman Jantjies, chairperson of the CPF, said they were in the dark about the stolen firearms.
“We heard in the corridors about the missing guns. We were in the dark, we never knew about it. We are disappointed in the station management.”
Beacon Valley resident, pastor Dean Ramjoomia, added that the weapons were already circulating on the Cape Flats. A member of the Hard Livings gang was caught earlier this month with a police firearm.
“The new batch is already in circulation, which is very perturbing in terms of the chain of distribution.”