Marchers demand cops take urgent action

THOUSANDS of ANC supporters marched to the Acornhoek police station yesterday demanding renewed investigations into several unsolved cases - including one involving the bombing of the house of Bushbuckridge executive mayor Milton Morema a few years ago.

Acting MEC for community safety, security and liaison Vusi Shongwe - who is also the MEC for sports, arts and culture - received the memorandum, handed in by the ANC's Bushbuckridge sub-regional secretary Phineas Selowe.

In the memorandum the marchers demand, among other things, that those who petrol-bombed Morema's house in 2003 be hunted down and arrested.

"It is more than five years since the incident but no one has so far been arrested," the memorandum says.

"The case was not resolved and it is our demand to the department of community safety, security and liaison that these cases be investigated afresh."

Selowe asked: "How is it possible that the mayor's house can be burnt down and the police fail to bring the culprits to book?"

Other demands include that the police freshly investigate the 1998 shooting to death of Ripo Machate, an "active" ANC member.

The marchers also demanded that a policeman, Inspector Andrew Modipane, attached to the Acornhoek police station, be removed from the Greater Bushbuckridge area because he was "leaking sensitive intelligence information to the wrong people".

Attempts to get comment from Modipane, brother of Jacques Modipane the former finance MEC in Mpumalanga, proved fruitless. Some residents said he was hiding from the marchers.

Department of Community Safety spokesperson Joseph Mabuza told Sowetan that Shongwe would look into the demands before deciding on a way forward.