National 19.8.2016 07:02 am

‘Corrupt cops must go’

Community members from Westbury and surrounding areas march to the Sophiatown police station over the recent killings in the area. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Community members from Westbury and surrounding areas march to the Sophiatown police station over the recent killings in the area. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Westbury residents are ‘sick and tired’ of their police station they claim is in cahoots with gangsters.

They believe the police exacerbate the level of gang-related violent activities in their area, and worsen an already mammoth drug problem.

This was the message from residents who marched to the Sophiatown Police Station – where they allege that bribery occurs frequently, resulting in police not investigating certain matters.

This came as police confirmed that two people were arrested yesterday for eight shooting incidents in the area since last week.

“We recovered one Glock firearm with live rounds and a magazine and its serial number filed off,” Sophiatown police corporate communications officer Lieutenant Colonel Julia Claassen said.

“A task team has been formed to address incidents and enhance the investigation.”

Claassen, speaking on the alleged dealings in the police station, said: “They allege that some of the members are taking bribes from druglords in the area.

“But the problem that Sophiatown police currently have is we don’t get concrete evidence against these alleged corrupt police officials.

“Community members don’t want to come forward and give proper statements and take ownership … we need a proper investigation to be conducted.”

She urged community members who may be “scared”, to make use of the anonymous police tip-off line. Claassen added that the station had a shortage of members and, often, officials from various other clusters assisted in the area.

The drug situation in the area had also been escalating from 2006. Between 2015 and 2016, the cluster had mounting numbers of drug-related crimes reported to it, she said.

“What we also identified with this area is the geographical outlay of this police station. It makes it impossible, you know. It poses a challenge for us, and for the police station to do proper operations here.”

She urged the community to work with police as a team. Police also said they received no reports of a shooting yesterday of a man at a park where marchers had gathered before proceeding to the station.

However, the visibly shaken brother-in-law of the man who apparently died in the incident where nine shots were fired told The Citizen that the incident was reported.

“They are killing people. Unnecessarily. They killed my brother-in-law. My heart is broken. I am sick and tired of this,” said Uwass Jappe.

“My life is in danger, and when one of our children get hurt, who is responsible? Sophiatown is useless.”

– yadhanaj@citizen.co.za

 

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