Georginia South still under siege

Warrant Officer Danny Pieterse addresses a previous meeting while Colonel Gerrie van Rooyen takes notes in the background. (Photo: Mathilde Myburgh)

Residents of Georgina South who say they are victims of ‘guerilla warfare’ held a meeting with various stakeholders on Tuesday night.

Representatives from the Roodepoort Police, security companies, Metrorail and Transnet as well as the councillors for Wards 127 (Sebelo Ngcanca) and 84 (Marianne Kemp) and community members were invited. However, only Chubb, the police, community and Ngcanca attended.

According to a full report of the meeting the Record received, some of the issues the community raised were substandard police responsiveness and presence, risks emanating from the adjacent mining land and the nearby Transnet property.

Residents said Georginia South has remained a high-risk area for more than a decade despite repeated attempts by the community to engage the police on the issue. One household alone reported having fallen victim to crime 52 times since 1997. The community also lamented the fact that “criminals seem not to be deterred because there are no consequences for their actions”.

On the subject of the police, the community expressed their concern over the lack of response when calling the sector police number, promised response not arriving, cases not opened, fingerprints not taken and no feedback on cases. The community’s biggest gripe though is the lack of police visibility to deter criminals and despite the police saying they focus on hot spots, the community wants them to regard the whole area as such.

Furthermore the community wants the mining land in Ward 127 to be fenced and maintained since it provides criminals the opportunity to watch residents’ movements, to hide and as an access and escape route. Ngcaca refused to admit it being part of his ward despite the municipal manager confirming it.

The community also complained that the railway bridges are vantage points for criminals and that the maintenance of the property in general is an issue.

Police issued the following guidelines at the meeting:

• To enable them to monitor personnel performance, log calls with 10111 first. This means the call also is recorded.

• It is important to follow up on queries and complaints.

• Any issues with uniformed personnel and visible policing can be followed up with Colonel Van Rooyen on 082 778 9370

• Any matters relating to the Roodepoort Police Station as such are addressed to the station commander, Brigadier Kupiso on 082 778 0405.

They also explained the process when a case is opened:

• Within 24 hours of opening a case an SMS showing the case number is sent to the contact number on the docket.

• The following day a second message is sent showing the contact information of the investigating officer.

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Riaan van Zyl

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