Fabian Onyie wants to continue work on his Afrikan Heritage Site despite crime on Mabopane highway
The police cannot risk allowing anyone around Theo Martins Poort unsupervised when it has not been safe for motorists who stopped on the Mabopane highway (R80).
Police spokesperson Captain Augustinah Selepe made the remarks yesterday following a complaint by Fabian Onyie who was told he could not be allowed to work on the mountain for his own safety.
The man who spent the last five years creating and maintaining a small heritage site he named Afrikan Heritage Site on the mountain said he needed to continue his work dedicated to Nelson Mandela.
However, with several motorists having been attacked by criminals who hid in the bushes around the mountains and R80, Selepe said the police were prioritising the safety of everyone around the area.
He said the police could not always see who goes to the mountain but actually encouraged people to avoid stopping there unless it's an unavoidable stop like a mechanical breakdown.
In fact, residents of Pretoria North and tow truck drivers protested on the highway demanding the police to patrol the area and the police and metro police have been keeping watch.
However, despite acknowledging that there were currently eight foreign nations and one South African arrested for a series of serious crimes along the highway, Onyie believed he would not be attacked.
He said "This is my passion, I want to clean the site and maintain it since I could not care well for it during lockdown. This site is a true passion for me.
"In fact, it came to me as a vision while I was on top of the mountain praying. A vision showed me that Nelson Mandela was accepted as a saint in the afterlife. That's why I built the heritage site in his honour.
"I still go up the mountain to pray every first day of the month. However, I want to work the site as well. I've been doing it since 2015 and people are used to seeing those white stones when they drive along the highway."
However, Tshwane district police commissioner major-general Hilda Mohajane explained that a lot of the people who were attacked around the area were motorists who had just stopped relieve themselves.
Moreover, she thanked concerned residents of the north who have been working with the police to patrol the areas of concern and finding, hidden under a rock, equipment used for housebreaking.
Selepe said the officers who dealt with Onyie were more concerned about his safety and protection.