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Police monitor Diepsloot amid violent protests

A protesting resident shields his face from the heat of a burning barricade in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, during protests over high crime-rates and the lack of police visibility in the township on June 20 2023.
A protesting resident shields his face from the heat of a burning barricade in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, during protests over high crime-rates and the lack of police visibility in the township on June 20 2023.
Image: Alaister Russell

Gauteng police are monitoring Diepsloot amid sporadic protests over poor police visibility, high crime levels, the influx of illegal immigrants and service delivery issues. 

According to Brig Brenda Muridili, roads were blocked and tyres burned during the protest on Tuesday. 

“The community is complaining of police visibility and high crime levels, the influx of illegal immigrants that are allegedly committing crime, as well as other service delivery issues.

“These are mostly residents from informal settlements that have challenges with environmental design. Police vehicles are not able to get into those congested areas for patrols, especially at night as there is no electricity,” said Murifuli. 

“During the day, there are foot patrols by all law enforcement agencies (police, crime wardens, metro police, as well as CPF and patrollers). At night, law enforcement agencies patrol with blue lights for visibility but they’re not able to access those areas,” she added. 

A resident becomes emotional where protesters burned informal shops in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, during protests on June 20 2023. Residents closed roads in and around the area, destroyed and burned informal shops owned by foreign nationals in protest.
A resident becomes emotional where protesters burned informal shops in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, during protests on June 20 2023. Residents closed roads in and around the area, destroyed and burned informal shops owned by foreign nationals in protest.
Image: Alaister Russell

She said the station management will continue to engage with community leaders and community-based structures, as well as other departments to find long-term solutions to the service delivery issues in Diepsloot.

“There were six murders in Diepsloot since the beginning of June. We have made several arrests including six suspects in a case of attempted murder and house robbery, one for an attempted murder case, three suspects in three separate cases of armed robbery, five for pointing of a firearm.

“Eighty two people [were arrested] for drinking in public as they are targeted by armed robbers. Two illegal shebeens were closed. They are generators of common robberies, assault GBH, GBV and domestic violence. The police are still monitoring the situation in Diepsloot and we will, after consultations, peacefully disperse the protesters,” Muridili said. 

TimesLIVE


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