Wednesday, 26 November 2008

'This is genocide'

November 26 2008 at 11:22AM

By Jacques Breytenbach

Kameeldrift residents have called for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to investigate the spate of violent crimes in their area and nearby Cullinan.

The residents on Tuesday handed over a new memorandum to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Kameeldrift Community Policing Forum (CPF) spokesperson Warren Williams said the petition was in response to their basic human rights being violated.

"As a community, we have marched and shouted about crime. But this has amounted to nothing. We are still being maimed, raped, and shot at on a daily basis.

"We demand that the NIA investigate if a third force is to blame for the crime in our area. We will also take the matter to the United Nations as we believe that the situation qualifies as genocide," said Williams.

He said the Gauteng MEC for safety and security Firoz Cachalia visited Laudium after one murder occurred there.

"But 49 people are murdered in the Kameeldrift and the Cullinan area and no one helps us," he said.

The residents held a meeting in the area yesterday attended by the provincial head of crime prevention in Gauteng, Director Mac McLachlan.

McLachlan said that although the SAPS did not have all the answers, by sitting and discussing the issue, a solution could be found.

"I am fully aware that there is a big crime problem in Kameeldrift and in Cullinan. I am not here to make promises or to defend the police. But I will not allow that my fellow SAPS members get a lashing at this meeting.

"The minister of safety and security was here to speak with you earlier this month. You come here today with a list of demands, but I am not a politician.

"I am a policeman. I've been robbed three times in my house. So let us talk and find a solution," McLachlan said.

In the petition the residents demand the following:

That crime intelligence be improved to such an extent that violent crime be prevented significantly;

That more police members are deployed to prevent crime from occurring;

That reported crimes be investigated and that the percentage of successful prosecutions increases noticeably; and,

That policing is executed efficiently and that personnel and means are utilised optimally to curb crime significantly.

Community member Piet Germishuys said he did not sleep at night.

"Our women are raped. The men are shot dead. In the past, the army was sent in to deal with a situation like this.

"We don't know what the police are doing," he said.

Cullinan resident, Abel van Aarde, said there were too few police because of the urbanisation of the district.

This article was originally published on page 2 of Pretoria News on November 26, 2008


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