The school of Mgezwa high were out in numbers at Lusikisiki's new police station to cry out for help from the south African police services for rampant crimes of rape, burglary and theft that has been terrorising their community especially the residents living in rented homes around the school. For weeks on end the learners living in rented houses around the school have been complaining about the security of their residency in these houses, saying that their houses are often broken into, having their belongings mugged and having their lives threatened and being victimised through rape and assault.
Ward Councillor Thuliswa Jotile said that, before the recent incidents, there was a girl and her grandmother who were taken by five male assailants, raped and their clothes were taken too, left naked and helpless. Councillor Jotile also confirmed there were suspects apprehended by the police for having allegedly admitted to stealing cell phones from the Mgezwa learners living next to the school.
A light was installed at the area that was known as a hotspot for these attacks. With that too, the incidents are still going on and on.
The community of Mgezwa has had enough and showed their dissatisfaction by marching to the Lusikisiki police station in large numbers in an effort to seek intervention from those who are entrusted with the duty to protect them.
Councillor Jotile confirmed that indeed suspects from Mzizangwa were apprehended by the community where they allegedly admitted to stealing the cell phones from the Mgezwa residents. “the police arrived at the scene shortly after these perpetrators were caught by the community vigil and were quickly taken to the police station.” She spoke.
According to Councillor Jotile, “the meeting with the station commander Brigadier Chiya went well, “we were advised to draft a memorandum of grievances and present them in a meeting that will be held on Tuesday between the police service and the community representatives from Mgezwa.”
We spoke to Brigadier Wiseman Chiya who also confirmed that they took the suspects but unfortunately “there was no case opened for this particular incident, so there was no official complainant laid. “Technically the suspects were not under arrest but were, “rescued from the imminent mob related attacks.” He said.
The suspects were later released yesterday because no one had officially opened a case. “We are not allowed to hold people in our cells for long time without an open case or formally lodged complaint.” Spoke Brigadier Chiya. He also said that he was made aware about the incidents taking place in that area, where assailants from other parts come to Mgezwa and attack the residents.
“These assailants are said to hangout in local taverns, some of those taverns are not even licenced.” He spoke.
Speaking about the meeting with the community of Mgezwa Brigadier Chiya advised the community to go back, meet other stakeholders and affected members, draft a memorandum to present in their meeting on Tuesday.
The station commander ended off by saying that this meeting is about developing trust between the people and the police, as this will help mend the divide that often leads to people taking the law into their own hands and committing the same crimes they often complain about.
“Cases are being lost because of mob justice; police are not being involved from the beginning. “He said.
The agreement was that the community would go back and strategise for Tuesdays’ session.
“We are going to have a meeting on Sunday to draft the memorandum which will be presented to the police.” Said Councillor Jotile.
Brigadier Chiya extended the invitation to the homeowners popularly known as landlords (Oomastandi), saying that their views will be important in establishing their security measures for the tenants.