Residents from Wesbury have once again taken to the streets to protest against spiralling crime, drugs and gangsterism. Nokuthula Mbatha African News Agency/ANA
Westbury residents have demanded the return of Amaberete to quell the violence that has erupted just months after week-long protests in the volatile community.

Amaberet are the feared South African Police Services'  Tactical Response Team and the  latest spate of demonstrations in the area was triggered by the release of two suspects linked to the killing of a 45-year-old woman in September.

Heather Peterson was murdered during a shootout and her 10-year-old niece was wounded.

Police Minister Bheki Cele resorted to unleashing Amaberete and other intelligence agencies to deal with gang-related crimes, drug dealings and general crime in October.

A resident, who wants the no-nonsense unit to return, said the police presence slowly started to decline weeks after Peterson’s death.

“The crime will always be here. It is our life and we are used to it. We only see one police vehicle now and again,” she said.

Four men were later arrested for their role in her killing. However, after appearing in Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court last week, two were released.

Community members were aggrieved by the court’s decision and embarked on a protest to fight for “justice”and two residents were later arrested for the alleged incitement of public violence.

That led to the community picketing at Sophiatown police station.

A resident who declined to be named said: “We went to court last week and there were four guys charged for Aunty Heather’s death.

“But accused number one and two - the State withdrew their cases. On which grounds did they withdraw the case? They are a danger to the community. Worst of all, the two men stay at a house away from Heather’s widower.”

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubele said Amaberete were still working in and patrolling the area and community members merely wanted to cause an unnecessary stir. He also confirmed that a man and woman had been arrested.

“The police opened the case and they protested this morning. They blocked the road and burned tyres. The case against the two men was provisionally withdrawn. At the moment, they are not directly linked to the killing of the woman but the case is still on as the other suspects are still in custody,”

He also said the police would remain vigilant and on standby.