General

Police Minister calls for a thorough investigation into police response to Zandspruit vigilantism incident

GAUTENG – Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele has assured Zandspruit residents, that their claims of the local police station not responding to their distress calls will be urgently investigated.

This comes as Minister Cele, on Saturday 22 May 2021, visited the informal settlement in Johannesburg, following the gruesome killing of 8 youths in acts of vigilantism and criminality.

The General together with the MEC of Community Safety in Gauteng, Faith Mazibuko met with the provincial police management to get a full briefing about the vigilante killings and what progress police have made on the case.

Minister Cele also had an engagement with community leadership structures, to find out what could have led this community into taking the law into their own hands. This meeting saw representatives of the local CPF and other recognised community safety structures, expressing the residents’ policing and safety concerns. They also reported to the police Minister and the provincial police team that the Honeydew police station, which also serves the Zandspruit area, provides poor service to the community. They claim the local police are not only corrupt but at times ignore their policing needs. Some in the meeting believe the death of the 8 youngsters who were severely assaulted and burnt, could have been avoided if police responded on time.

In his address to the community gathered at the local sports grounds, where the murders took place, Minister Cele told residents that he is convinced the community of Zandspruit deserve improved service delivery.

He’s ordered an urgent probe into why the police response time was slow on the morning of the attacks and has called for heads to roll.

“There is no doubt police in this area have many challenges due to the ever increasing population size and poor living conditions that impede on crime fighting efforts, however some of the problems faced by the police are self-made. It’s really disheartening to hear that calls were made to the police while the youngsters were still alive but yet police vans took hours to respond, so that’s why I have tasked the provincial Commissioner to get to the bottom of these claims and I expect answers in the coming days.”

A police task team has been put together to look at other identified problems within the station as well as relook at all cold cases that have been dragging on with little to no conclusion.

Minister Cele has committed to return to the area in less than a month’s time, to provide feedback to the residents, on what has been done to improve the stations performance and service delivery.

Source: South African Police Service