Durban - Community members, security and police paid their respects to fallen security officer Pumzile Fitshane on The Bluff with a motorcade of more than 200 vehicles travelling through the suburb on Friday.
Fitshane, 44, was shot by armed robbers while responding to a home invasion on Maxwell Avenue at the beginning of the week and died in hospital the next day.
Blue Security community and media liaison officer, Andreas Mathios, said: “The convoy was very well attended. The vehicles went along Solomon Mahlangu (Edwin Swales) Drive and along Bluff Drive, arriving at the scene of the shooting, where a moment of silence was held for our officer and a cross laid at the site.”
Along with a number of security companies, residents also paid their respects, giving cash and food donations for Fitshane’s family.
Elsewhere, in Westville, another convoy took place yesterday as a show of force against criminals and as an initiative to raise awareness among residents ahead of the festive season.
Westville Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Alex Gloster said the community, police and metro took part in the convoy.
“The festive season is around the corner and it is the community which helps to provide information to the authorities. To see everyone sharing and the input of effort is laudable,” said Gloster.
Businesses in Durban have been asked to give money to volunteer crime prevention efforts. Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda made the call at a function at the Royal Hotel ahead of the festive season that will be a busy one on the crime front.
Meanwhile, Durban’s business community pledged amounts of money to volunteer organisations fighting crime ahead of the festive season when the scourge is expected to spike.
Encouraging business people to dig into their pockets at a function at the Royal Hotel yesterday morning was Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda, who said collaboration with the private sector was crucial because the government had limited resources.
He lashed out at individuals in the police who were corrupt and slack; crime for chasing away job-creating investment; foreigners who took over certain trading areas; and gangsters who needed to be “suffocated”.
“We cannot live in a city where there are streets people call Lagos. In Pietermaritzburg, there’s a Somali Street,” said Kaunda.
“We cannot allow anarchy. People must know we are a country with laws that must be adhered to.”
He called on all sectors of society to rise to the occasion to suffocate gangsters.
“You must chase them,” Kaunda said, while to much applause he urged police to fire back if they were shot at by criminals. We cannot be ruled by criminals,” he stressed.
The MEC accompanied police on an early-morning raid in the Point area yesterday morning and said one building they visited had more than 1000 people living in it. A landlord was charging people R20 for a bed. Kaunda estimated that some landlords were making more than R600 000 a month.
Police visited five buildings and nine night clubs in the raid.
He also lashed out at rotten individuals in the police force, noting that Golela police station had been closed down and its personnel fired in a clean-up. Kaunda said he had made 25 visits to police stations, masquerading as a member of the public seeking help.
He also called on business people to beef up security at shopping precincts over the festive season. With pledges for R10 000 and R15 000, beneficiaries included KwaZulu-Natal Youth Crime Prevention and the Albert Park Community Crime Prevention Association whose representatives addressed the gathering.
Lungelo Zulu, from KwaZulu-Natal Youth Crime Prevention, said it was a structure made up of youth who patrolled public places on pay day to prevent robberies, acted as registered car guards, and encouraged parties at stadiums where they could be monitored rather than let them happen at homes where drug-taking was easier.
Jonas Barausse, of the KwaMashu Business Against Crime Project, said foot traffic at a retail outlet had decreased after whoonga addicts took over a nearby disused clinic building, but had changed after a clean-up.
A guest from the Umbilo CPF said he had donated six months of his salary to his local police station to fix windows and doors to improve morale so that staff could work in a decent building.
The Independent on Saturday