Sigh of relief as JMPD cleans up Jozi
THE area around the South Gauteng high court in central Johannesburg is now cleaner than it has been for years following a clean-up operation by metro police and emergency services.
Yesterday Johannesburg emergency services personnel, accompanied by JMPD officers, hosed down the area along Pritchard and Von Brandis streets where hundreds of Zimbabweans have been squatting for the past few years.
"This is part of operation Chachamela, a Tsonga word meaning 'walking on burning coals'," said JMPD spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.
Minnaar said the operation started just before the recent Fifa Confederations Cup. It is part of Johannesburg's clean-up efforts for the soccer events, including the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
"The areas that we have been concentrating on are from Ellis Park Stadium, all the way to Newtown and Mary Fitzgerald square," explained Minnaar.
He said the aim was to rid the city of grime and illegal traders. Minnaar said 20 people were arrested for illegal trading - including selling fake CDs.
Up to 20000 counterfeit CDs have been confiscated by police during the operation on Johannesburg streets.
The clean-up near the high court follows a JMPD raid last Friday when many Zimbabweans were arrested on charges of loitering, littering and public indecency.
Businesses around the Central Methodist Church - which is too overcrowded to house the thousands of Zimbabweans who have sought refuge there - have been complaining about health risks and loss of business due to the squatters urinating and defecating on the streets.