The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) has beefed up patrols around the city’s intersections to remove supposedly aggressive windscreen washers.
This comes after a demonstration on the weekend by concerned residents to protest against the windscreen washers operating at the Bruma intersection, on the East Rand.
At the demonstration, informative pamphlets were handed out to motorists, and demonstrators carried signs urging motorists not to support washers.
Concerned resident and organiser of the event Leon de Bruin said it was a “peaceful demonstration” to stop the “aggressive behaviour” of the washers.
De Bruin said he was worried a community member could get hurt by a washer.
Councillor Neuren Pietersen of Ward 118 said he supported the demonstration. “I appeal to motorists to stop donating to the windscreen washers and not succumb to intimidation of the windscreen washers,” he said.
Pietersen said he had spoken to the Johannesburg MMC of safety and security and requested that more patrols be carried out by the JMPD.
Muzi Mazibuko, a member from one of the local Community Police Forums and one of the demonstrators, said some of the window washers were not what they seemed.
“They pretend to want to wash your window, but when you open your window, they grab what they can and run,” Mazibuko said.
He said some window washers went as far as pulling people out of cars and driving off in the car, and added he had seen it happen.
Andrew McDougal, a demonstrator, said the protest was not about the window washers being unemployed but wanted to focus and try to reduce the aggression of the window washers.
JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar told The Citizen on Tuesday this was a concern, as the washers assaulted motorists and damaged their cars.
“We are appealing to motorists not to give money to window washers,” he added.
Minnaar said since the operation to clamp down on windscreen washers began, 46 people have been arrested.
He said metro police officers were monitoring the intercessions closely to remove the washers whenever they were there.
– Caxton News Service