Arrest Vusi 'Khekhe' Mathibela now, Mamelodi residents tell Bheki Cele
Police minister Bheki Cele has vowed to bring an end to a Mamelodi controversial taxi boss' reign of terror.
Cele, who addressed dozens of residents in the Pretoria east township during a community imbizo yesterday, said he will not tolerate rampant lawlessness in the township at the hands of one man.
The minister was referring to the notorious taxi boss Vusi "Khekhe" Mathibela.
Cele was accompanied by the national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole, Gauteng's police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela and community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane at the International Assemblies of God in Mamelodi.
Without mentioning Mathibela's name, Musa Dolo, a community member, told Cele they were fed up with the police's lack of response to their complaints about the "man".
"You guys spoke about him when you came here to unveil the new provincial commissioner three weeks ago. You said you needed three months and you would solve him. Three months is too long, we won't wait that long because we know who he is," Dolo said to a roaring ovation.
Mathibela's name is said to strike fear in the hearts of many
Dolo alleged that the suspect has police officers on his payroll which enhanced his grip on the community.
Dolo's allegations were consistent with those made by other community members about Mathibela.
Mathibela's name is said to strike fear in the hearts of many taxi operators and business people in Mamelodi.
The 33-year-old taxi boss is accused of running an extortion ring in the township which forces local entrepreneurs to pay him a "protection fee".
Mathibela has strongly denied these claims.
In response, Cele said they would deploy special units into the community in a bid to end to the criminal activities in the township. He further instructed Mawela to ensure that Dolo's life was not at risk following his plea.
"I know I said the community should give us three months to attend to this criminal, but I am sorry. It won't be three months. Three weeks is too long. We will return with the tools we need and the personnel we need to clean up this place. We can't be overrun by criminals. We don't care what your name is and who your father is," Cele said.
Mathibela's spokesperson Elias Skhosana, who was also present at the Imbizo, said Cele's threats were nothing more than electioneering.
"There is no case against Vusi. He is not being investigated for anything."
Skhosana alleged that Cele knew Mathibela and that he was merely creating hype around the matter without a factual basis.