Inoperational CCTV cameras in Pretoria's CBD aid criminals

A CCTV system camera. Picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (Archives)

A CCTV system camera. Picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (Archives)

Published Mar 25, 2019


Pretoria - At least 102 CCTV cameras used to monitor criminal activities in the Pretoria CBD have not been working since 2016, hampering the police fight against crime.

This emerged during a community meeting at Salvokop, hosted by the acting commander of the Pretoria Central police station, Colonel Moses Dladla.

He expressed concern that the non-operational surveillance cameras negatively affected the police efforts to fight crime.

“You can’t review (criminal activities) any more.

"Our detectives can’t go with the complainant and review. That causes a problem,” he said.

Executive Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa said he was aware of the problem regarding CCTV cameras.

He said he had asked the MMC for Community Safety, Karen Meyer, to prioritise solving the matter. “My instruction is that the metro police should prioritise the installation of those cameras.

“The CCTV cameras are very important. When I was a ward councillor, we had cameras and they assisted a lot in terms of crime prevention.

“We have to make sure we sort out the legal issues and then we switch on those CCTV cameras.”

Although he didn’t want to put a specific time frame for solving the problem, he said the City anticipated to solve it in the next six months.

“We need to find out what is the contractual dispute and what is the remedial action and then the procurement process,” he said.

During the meeting, the police officers at Pretoria Central got a bad rap from community members who accused them of colluding with drug dealers, taking bribes and making dockets disappear.

Community Policing Forum (CPF) member Stephen Swart claimed police solicited bribes from criminals.

“Pretoria Central is very corrupt. The members are very corrupt. All over where we are going we are sitting with problems wherethey receive bribes,” he said.

Last year the station came third out of 104 stations in the province in terms of the highest number of criminal cases reported.

Swart said it appeared that the police plan to fight against crime was not working.

Resident Sello Moletjie claimed the police had a hand in the disappearance of criminal dockets.

He said he previously reported four cases and the police investigations into them came to nought “because the information disappeared”.

“It appears there is collaboration between the criminals and the police,” he said.

Pretorial Central CPF secretary Mzwandile Felita claimed that police always hung around spots where criminals sold drugs.

“When we raise these issues as the CPF it is like we want to take the jobs of the police, which is really a problem to us,” he said.

Complaints regarding an influx of illegal immigrants, taverns operational for 24 hours and faulty street lights were cited among factors contributing to increased crime.

The ANC branch leader in Salvokop, Alex Mahlobogoane, questioned the credibility of the police statistics, saying they were inaccurate.

Pretoria News

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