Rosettenville residents demand lifestyle audits for foreign nationals owning houses in the area
Rosettenville residents are demanding that the government conduct lifestyle audits for owners of houses in the Johannesburg suburb that are allegedly used for illegal activities.
This follows protests in the area in which hundreds of residents marched to the homes of Nigerians and set furniture alight before torching the buildings. They claimed to be ridding the area of drugs and prostitution.
“We are having challenges of house hijackings‚ illegal drug dealing‚ prostitution and evictions that are unlawful. The community is demanding that there must be an audit of all these houses. How are they owned by foreign nationals [and] where do they get the money?
“The community is saying no eviction should happen until we conclude this audit because we need to know whether these people have investments so that we can normalise the situation‚” said community leader William Ntsanwisi.
He was addressing Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba as well as Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane outside one of the 12 houses which were torched by community members in the area last week.
Gigaba and other leading government officials earlier conducted a walkabout in areas in Johannesburg populated by immigrants in an attempt to quell tensions in these areas.
These areas included Yeoville‚ Mayfair‚ Booysens as well as Rosettenville.
The purpose of the visit was to engage locals and immigrants to ensure peace and stability following the violent protests over drugs and prostitution in Rosettenville at the weekend.
Gigaba said intervention from the security cluster was much needed in order to curb the violence from continuing.
“It is quite clear that we need a cluster approach. The entire justice‚ security and crime prevention of national‚ provincial and local government need to come in communities such as this one in order to rescue hijacked houses and properties to ensure that we re-establish law and order in these areas because if we don’t do that‚ the genuine concerns of both South Africans and immigrant communities about the situations of crime in these areas‚ will go on unattended and unabated.
“This issue here in Rosettenville is about the crime that is taking place which involves hijacked buildings. It involves the use of children in prostitution‚ the drug rings that are around her and our inability as the state to act as timeously and adequately as the communities expect us to‚” Gigaba said.
The minister said that in order to prevent the situation from continuing‚ other government stakeholders needed to intervene as this could not be narrowed down to one arm of government.
Twelve homes were torched in the Johannesburg south suburb‚ among them an alleged brothel‚ an alleged night club and an alleged drug den which were apparently being run by Nigerians.
Earlier in Yeoville‚ Gigaba said he believed comments made by Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba in December last year could have emboldened the community to take the law into their own hands.
While delivering his first 100 days in office progress report late last year‚ Mashaba said illegal foreign nationals living in the city must be treated as criminals since they came to the country illegally.