Provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mzwandile Petros addressing the community of Muldersdrift after spike in violent crimes in the erea. Picture: Matthews Baloyi 1/24/2013

Johannesburg - A man died and an attacker was wounded during an attempted robbery in Muldersdrift last night while Gauteng police commissioner Mzwandile Petros was addressing a residents’ meeting in the area.

Lammermoor Residents’ Association chairman Michael Wilson said the incidents took place at the tail end of Petros’s address.

He said a group of men had entered a plot in the area, and pointed a gun at the owner and his wife. When the robbers pointed the firearm at his children, the man tackled the gunman.

“Three shots were fired. The victim was hit twice and the attacker was wounded. The attackers ran, leaving a blood trail. The wife shouted for help, and the police and security were alerted.”

Wilson said the man had died on his way to Life Fourways Hospital.

Petros and his team met the community to discuss the high crime rate in the area.

Community policing forum (CPF) chairman Andy Mashaile said they had sought the community’s input to find solutions to the problems.

He said that in order for any effective and efficient policing to happen, the community had to get involved.

“It is a key and critical success factor for safety in communities,” he told about 250 residents, business owners and victims of previous attacks gathered at the local church.

Mashaile told the community, particularly those who owned plots, about important questions they needed to ask to ensure their safety.

“Who have I employed? Have I gone into their community to find out about them? Do I know their capacity to engage with criminals? Do I trust the people working for me?” he said.

Local CPF chairman Jorncy Page told the residents to attend the sector meetings and to take part in combating crime.

“It’s no good bringing up old issues because we want to deal with the issues within weeks of it happening. Please be involved,” he said.

When the residents were given a chance to share their complaints, many agreed that the resources in the area were not enough, especially as there were more developments and expansions in the community.

Rodney Kretchman, a resident, said his business had recently been robbed of R80 000 worth of goods, and through the help of his own personal security and his son, he had trapped the thieves and apprehended one before the other four got away.

“We asked for police assistance, sat for three hours, trying to get a response, but nothing happened,” he said.

“We physically got the criminal in jail ourselves,” said Kretchman.

Other residents said police officers never answered their phones.

Some residents said they did not trust the police.

Petros said the police had arrested 856 corrupt policemen since 2010 and still had the capacity to investigate and arrest many more.

“Every factory has its faults… not all of us are corrupt,” he said.

Petros also said residents could not compare Muldersdrift today to what it was 30 years ago because things were different.

“What we need the most is information and resources to stabilise the situation,” he said.

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The Star