Thursday, 12 February 2009

'I want to sleep at night'

11/02/2009 21:48 - (SA)

Pretoria - Kameeldrift residents are furious and frightened after a neighbour was murdered in the northern Pretoria community, ward councillor Piet van der Watt said on Wednesday.

"I want to sleep at night," said Van der Watt, a Democratic Alliance councillor in the area, after nurseryman Renier Boshoff was shot dead in his bed early on Tuesday morning.

His widow Daphne, who worked at a creche, was bound and gagged and had to sit next to her husband's body for four hours before she managed to free herself and get help, Beeld reported.

Van der Watt told Sapa that the Boshoffs lived close to him and "they are good hearted people".

He said the residents supported presidential calls to become involved in fighting crime in their area through community policing forums and sector policing, and spent their own money on petrol and two-way radios in their efforts to keep the area safe from a spate of murders.

Not allowed to use firearms

But they felt that as tax payers they were not receiving enough support from the government.

"I am a taxpayer, I have paid my tax and one of the services government must render to me is to protect me."

He said extra police patrols had been provided for a few weeks, but were recently withdrawn. "We say thank you very much but the state must keep it up."

Residents were aware that they were not allowed to use their firearms when they felt threatened, and that they could not arbitrarily stop people walking through the area who aroused their suspicions.

"We are chained, we feel like we are arrested... I get so upset about this."

The community intended launching a web-based monitoring group to force the police to account for progress in crime investigations.

They would compile a list of murders and demand updates on how far the police are in their efforts to nab the perpetrators.



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