Homeless people in Pretoria CBD, say they are sleeping in groups to protect themselves. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency(ANA)
Pretoria - It has been almost three weeks since the body of the fifth homeless man was discovered in Muckleneuk on June 19.

The murder added to four others that had been committed in the area as well as Sunnyside.

While everyone else continued with their day-to-day lives, the city’s destitute said they felt no safer, with no new updates of what was going on with the investigations.

Lesego Mmeloa, 23, originally from Mothutlung, Brits, who has been on the inner city streets for two years, said that for anyone, especially substance users living on the streets, the fear was still very real.

Mmeloa said he and others living around the Marabastad area were still sleeping in groups since the last killing - advice given by the police and other stakeholders.

“As if sleeping on the streets wasn’t difficult as it is on its own, now we sleep with one eye open because we know nothing will be done. We’re nobodys and we know this.”

Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said they had no new developments regarding the cases and had made no arrests.

Richard Wildeman, chairperson of the New Hope, an organisation formed by homeless people, said they tried everything to determine the situation and how things were proceeding, but had been shut out and turned away repeatedly.

Wildeman said that even a recent visit to the Saps headquarters had proved futile.

“They lied to people there are no investigations going on; no evidence of even one investigating officer handling this matter.”

Despite this, Wildeman said their organisation was not giving up and was approaching the public protector to force the City to account for its mandate to the homeless and for its financial reports.

This, he said, would enable the team to see where the finances for the homeless, substance abuse initiatives and other social responsibilities have gone to.

“We are going to ensure that someone is held accountable for these senseless killings, so those that died can also get justice.

“First we start with the City and we will look into other stakeholders’ roles.

“It can’t be business as usual we will not stop until that is done.”

Pretoria News