Cops ready for Hillbrow thugs

Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

Residents of Hillbrow in Johannesburg and surrounding areas can rest assured that they will have peaceful New Year's celebrations tonight.

Police spokesman Captain Bhekizizwe Mavundla promised yesterday that enough police would be deployed in and around Hillbrow, Berea, Joubert Park and Braamfontein.

"Though I cannot give the exact number [of police officers] now, I can assure residents in areas within the Hillbrow policing precinct that the police will be all over the place to ensure that they celebrate in a safe environment," Mavundla said.

He said 212 people had been arrested for various crimes since Friday after the police intensified their preparations to combat the criminal and unruly behaviour Hillbrow inhabitants are known for during New Year's celebrations.

Each year police have their hands full with drunks who throw objects as big as fridges, stoves and wardrobes out of their windows that crash on the streets below.

Mavundla said among those arrested on Friday were two Zimbabweans who had been sought for allegedly killing a compatriot in Joubert Park in November.

"The operation will be a success because we have been holding meetings with residents, who have shown that they are sick and tired of the unruly behaviour," Mavundla said.

"They pledged their support to ensure that they celebrate in a safe environment."

Other people arrested had committed crimes such as robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms, fraud, drugs and assault.

They will appear at the Johannesburg and Hillbrow magistrate's courts today.