KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu is cracking the whip at police officers investigating "criminal activities" at the Glebelands hostel, south of Durban.
Officers of the Montclair police station have been removed from the case and a new task team comprising officers from outside the area will now investigate.
A police task team was appointed by the provincial cabinet to investigate a spate of crimes at the hostel after an outcry from hostel dwellers. Hostel dwellers had allegedly been complaining about murders, housebreakings, robberies, rapes and other serious crimes.
The hostel dwellers also allegedly told the authorities that they had "lost confidence" in the police station's ability to investigate cases with diligence, professionalism and the impartiality required of them.
The hostel made headlines after ANC and Cope members clashed in the run-up to the April elections.
Cope members claimed that they had been assaulted by ANC supporters "whose motive was to drive them out of the hostel", but Mchunu and the police top brass have rejected these claims.
It was established at a weekend meeting attended by top police officers, the special police task team and the community that certain officers from Montclair police station were still part of the team, contrary to reports made to the cabinet.
"This task team must be dismantled immediately. A new task team must be reconstituted without delay. At no stage should the new team comprise any policeofficer who has had links with Montclair police station in the recent past," Mchunu said. The police promised to act with speed on the matter.