Abahlali baseMjondolo logo. PHOTO: Supplied
Durban - Shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) doubted the accuracy of the SAPS crime statistics for the period April 1, 2017, to March 31 this year which indicated a decrease in public order incidents.

“These statistics have been cooked and fabricated. They do not reflect things on the ground,” said AbM spokesperson Thapelo Mohapi.

In KwaZulu-Natal, there were 675 violent protests for the period. This decreased by 164 from the 2016/2017 period.

There were 2640 peaceful protests in 2017/2018, a decrease by 83 from the previous period.

There were five fatalities from the violent protests with 25 people seriously injured.

Mohapi believed the figures were altered to create a good impression that the government was making progress in dealing with the challenges that led to protests.

He said a reason for the decrease in peaceful protests was because people had lost faith in the government and violence had become the only language it would understand.

Mohapi said the task team set up by Transport , Community Safety and Liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda was to deal with service delivery protests which had become a norm.

Mandla Xulu, Cato Manor Community Police Forum chairperson, did not see a decrease in the number of protests in the area, which he said were a common occurrence, almost weekly.

“The only way there could be a difference was for police to make more arrests,” he said.

Shabeer Khan, of the Community Crime Prevention Association, said there was a definite decrease in the number of protests their members have had to diffuse.

Khan, a Cato Manor resident of 25years, said: “They (protests) really have been minimised.”

Melissa Govender, who lives in Blinkbonnie Road in Bonela, said the number of protests had decreased in her area.

Last year, Bonela was hit by violent protests that resulted in blackouts, and clashes between residents and shack dwellers.

Govender and her family were among those affected by the violence.

She said although protests had decreased, they had not let down their guard.

Govender said what helped was talking to organisations like AbM about not holding violent protests and also speaking directly with the eThekwini Municipality when they had problems.

Daily News