Bheki Cele says SAPS will deal with criminals, political killings in Tshwane townships
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Pretoria - The SAPS is on a mission to deal with criminals and those behind the killing of politicians in Mamelodi and Mabopane, Minister Bheki Cele said yesterday.
He was in the areas to interact with the residents, hearing their needs and outlining government’s strategy to root out crime, including the murder of politicians.
Cele was accompanied by Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko and provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela.
He said they had already dealt with criminal kingpins, such as William Mashobane serving a 105-year sentence, and Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela, who is on trial for an array of crimes.
Cele said the police were already aware of the new leaders of the Boko Haram gang that terrorised people in Mamelodi and Atteridgeville since taking over from Mathibela, and they too would face the might of the law.
Cele said: “Mashobane is in Kokstad Correctional Centre, a tough prison where you only see the sun for just one hour in 24 hours. The cheekiness is gone.
“The painful thing is that we did not arrest him alone, but we arrested him with two of our police officers who were helping him.
“Today they are in prison and serving lengthy sentences. I am told that even today there are some of our police officers who work with the criminals.”
Cele also informed the residents what the government was doing to “ensure that it improved” their situation and demonstrate that “we are not going to co-govern with criminality”.
However, residents complained about poor police work in dealing with cases.
They said perpetrators of violent crimes and gender-based violence were roaming the streets freely.
According to the residents, police in Mamelodi and Mabopane were “rotten and corrupt” and worked with criminals.
A seemingly injured Leso Phalatsi walked to the front of the audience in Mabopane UX Extension and showed the minister and MEC that he was still recovering from a bullet wound after being shot on September 21.
“I was told three days in advance that I would be shot and I nearly lost my life when they came for me.
“Despite the fact that there were witnesses and I was still alive, the investigating officer never even came to take my statement.
“I had to go to the station in pain and could not find him, and when he was called he said I should leave my number,” said Phalatsi.
Tsietsi Moeketse said one of the biggest problems in the townships was that people were killing each other for infrastructure development projects.
Silvia Motaung said one of the things frustrating the police was the lack of sufficient vehicles, and people who needed urgent police help had to wait until one was eventually available.
He said this was something the minister and his team could look at to improve police efficiency.