‘Cops ignore xenophobic attacks in Alexandra’

Picture: Chris Yelland/Twitter

GRAPHIC IMAGES: Ncube and Mzizi have been regularly attacked by a gang masquerading as ‘fighting illegal immigrants’.

An Alexandra couple, Gibson Ncube and Melissa Mzizi, have for months been victims of attacks by a group of armed men who have threatened to occupy their home, culminating in Ncube suffering a serious head injury over the weekend after being beaten with a sharp object.

Despite the SA Police Service (SAPS) being aware of the incidents and knowledge of those behind the attacks, those implicated get released at the Alexandra Police Station, according to Joburg Metro Police chief David Tembe.

While having gathered their belongings, strewn in the street by the “occupiers” and gone back to their home yesterday, the family told The Citizen that they were “unsafe and scared” that the group could return in the evening.

Ncube is a Zimbabwean-born naturalised South African, with a barcoded identity document and Mzizi is in possession of a work permit. This has not spared them from regular attacks by the gang, masquerading as “fighting illegal immigrants” and believed to be part of a rampant scam in Alexandra to take over and sell houses to unsuspecting residents.

According to Mzizi, the men would swoop on their home twice in a month, “making our life a living hell”. “This is very scary and traumatic, especially for my two daughters who are in Grade eight and R. They can no longer concentrate at school.

“Armed with an assortment of weapons, they came in large numbers yesterday, beat my husband up and stayed in the house until 6.45am – just minutes before the police came. They broke the gate and kitchen windows to gain entry into the house,” said Mzizi, whose daughters are aged four and 13.

Mzizi has worked for energy expert Chris Yelland as a domestic worker for over 10 years. Yelland, who has reported the incident to Alexandra Station commander Colonel Johannes Tau, left messages for Tembe and Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba.

“My conversation with Tau confirmed my suspicion that the armed group worked with some members of the police in this housing scam.”

Calls by The Citizen to Tau went unanswered.

– brians@citizen.co.za

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