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Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations for notorious Glebelands Hostel still not implemented

Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi where seven people died at the scene of a shooting on Saturday. An eighth person later died in hospital. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi where seven people died at the scene of a shooting on Saturday. An eighth person later died in hospital. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Published Jun 8, 2023

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Durban — Spokesperson for Ubumbano Lwamahostela, Mthembeni Thusi, said recommendations by former public protector Thuli Madonsela to the eThekwini Municipality to ensure safety at the Glebelands Hostel in uMlazi have not been implemented.

This came after the weekend’s mass shooting which left eight people dead.

Thusi said: “The Glebelands Hostel is still not fenced, with no access control and cameras. The hostel is still without the mobile police station and there are no lights … not even one thing was done by eThekwini Municipality that was recommended by Madonsela. There is still overcrowding there, even the grass-cutting has never been done.”

Community activist Vanessa Burger said no one should be surprised that this shooting happened, hence there was little effort by the municipality to implement the recommended safety measures.

“In the hostel, there is no access control, but that would be a waste of time and money anyway for the same reason as above. Unless the police undertook to search all vehicles and people entering the hostel for firearms.

“But this will never happen as there is no political will to stop the violence at Glebelands and uMlazi SAPS is grossly under-capacitated despite the precinct having one of the highest murder rates in the country for over a decade.

“Much of the hostel is regularly without lighting, which is a huge contributor to all forms of crime. I’m told that a company that was appointed to repair the electricity withdrew from the contract after all the cabling was stolen. The municipality seems to have no way forward on this,” said Burger.

She added that the police statement by Brigadier Naicker was misleading on the Glebelands Hostel mass shooting.

“In the police statement, Naicker mentions that the Provincial Task Team has been briefed, etc.

“This is misleading because there is no Provincial Task Team. The highly effective task team that was appointed in 2015 to investigate Glebelands cases, due to collusion with local officers, was disbanded in 2018 following the arrest of the Glebelands 8. The officers were redeployed elsewhere,” she said.

Naicker said: “We have a provincial task team that investigates multiple murders across the province. Everyone is aware of the team.”

He added that the same team made a breakthrough in Mbali Township, Pietermaritzburg.

eThekwini’s head of communications, Lindiwe Khuzwayo, said they were aware of the recommendations made by the former public protector.

“The City has installed CCTV cameras and a mobile police station is in operation there. Numerous other security measures have been put in place at the hostel, including the installation of fencing and access control, but both were vandalised,” said Khuzwayo.

“The City has also conducted repairs to the facility, including repairs to the roof and other day-to-day maintenance that was required.

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