We need to take control: Durban mayor calls for shutdown of known hot spots

By Siboniso Mngadi Time of article published Aug 9, 2020

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DURBAN mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has pleaded with police and communities to shut down areas openly known as “hot spots” to eradicate escalating crime in the townships.

The mayor convened a webinar conference on Saturday with various police crime-fighting units in response to the grim picture painted of Durban when Bheki Cele, Minister of Police, released the crime statistics last week.

Kaunda’s campaign against crime, which was themed “Communities reclaiming their rightful position in the fight against crime” included community crime prevention associations and community police and youth forums.

According to Cele’s statistics, 45% of the province’s crime occurred in Durban, while Inanda and uMlazi led the country with incidents of murder and rape.

Gender-based violence and sexual offences were cited as a common trend.

Kaunda lamented the fact that some areas were labelled crime hot spots.

“I am challenging all station commanders to target those places regarded as no-go areas and reclaim them.

“We cannot embrace crime while people live in fear and distress. Sadly, even police are aware of these areas, it is unacceptable.”

He said the issues of corruption within police stations was a stumbling block in fighting crime.

“I believe that every coach knows his players and their capabilities. Let’s arrest those colluding with criminals and bringing your uniform into disrepute. We need to take control of townships.

“We cannot co-govern with criminals. That must end. Also, police must retaliate when their lives are in danger. We are tired of burying police officers because of their leniency, while criminals are not,” he said.

Young people were encouraged to come up with innovative ways to fight crime.

Kaunda commissioned a task team from the various units in attendance, to meet in three months’ and present the work done their communities.

The mayor said the city would intensify its Covid-19 regulation enforcement for the next two weeks as the infection rate was expected to rise sharply.

He urged residents to remain indoors where possible to minimise the risk of infection.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE

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