Residents slam Cato Manor Police
Last month a group of Chesterville
residents led by Nhlanhla Mtaka staged a protest march to the
Cato Manor Police station to present a memorundum to the Station
Commissioner. IZWI Community Newspaper has a copy of the memorundum,
which reads as follows:-
We the bona fide residents of Greater
Cato Manor, wish to register our dissatisfaction over the performance
and conduct of police officers employed at the police station
at issue. We wish to bring to your attention and that of the provincial
heads of SAPS the fact that officers at the Cato Manor police
station have proved, over a period of time (a number of years)
that they do not have the interests of the respective community
at heart. 1. This is manifested by the failure to act swiftly
on drug trafficking, women abuse, violent murders, general crime
and the recent taxi violence that is taking place in the area.
The community also holds the professionalism of police officers
at the very station in skepticism. The officers have showed traits
of partialism when dealing with sensitive cases such as murder,
2. The officials have also been implicated in corruption deals
with perpetrators of crime. Officers at this station have also
displayed signs of racism when dealing with reported crimes.
3. The main issues that has left much to be desired, which has
also inspired the community to march against the activities of
the officers, is the instance whereby violence at our taxi ranks
has been deliberately allowed to carry on without police intervention.
We view this in a very serious light because it implies nothing
but the fact that African lives are not important and do not deserve
protection by government facilities. We therefore call on the
provincial heads of the SAPS to institute an independent inquiry
into activities and interests of the officers at the Cato Manor
Police Station. We also suggest that this be done at the earliest
convenience to save lives of the commuters and the general public.
Station Superintendent Nelson Govender of the Cato Manor Police
Station, responded to the memorandum as follows:-
It is good that some one has the guts to criticise the police.
It gives us the opportunity to take stock of our failures and
achievements. Here is our response to the memorundum:
1. The memorundum is generalised in its entirety. However this
office will deal with each issue stated as per 1-3 of the memorundum.
ISSUE 1: More than 200 cases of serious as well as general
crimes have been opened. In 1999 alone we kept the courts busy.
The most conviction on serious crime resulted in the accused being
sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, and another case of housebreaking
ended with a 6-year sentence being meted out to the accused. The
list is endless.
ISSUE 2: This office is unaware of racism practised in
the investigation or reporting of crimes. The detective service
has 50% Indian and 50% Black members. Cases that involve blacks
from the squatter settlement and Chesterville are often allocated
to black members because of communication. This office will not
tolerate corruption or any illegal activities by our members and
no complaints were directed to this office to date.
ISSUE 3: This office has tried all
available resources and channels to resolve the taxi
conflict. Numerous meetings were held with all roleplayers, but to
no avail. Our last resort was to increase high visibility in our area
and police the area during our priority times in Chesterville as well
as Bellair Road.
The allegation by the organisation that the police have taken no step
to ensure the safety of the community is totally unfounded. As further
proof we have minutes of meetings we conducted with the Provincial
Taxi Office, the Registrar and the Area Commissioner and the City
In connection with the shooting outside the hospital which the organiser
Mr Mtaka was victim, we have divided all the officers and members
working office hours to patrol during priority times.
At present the matter is in the High Court where none of the associations
will sit for a meeting but we will continue to perform crime prevention
duties in the areas.
It must be understood that the taxi conflict is based on routes which
the SAPS has no power to influence, therefore our primary task at
this moment and time is to perform visible policing to prevent violence.
In view of the taxi associations’ reluctance to meet and find a possible
solution, a priority committee will be set up by this office consisting
of all priority agencies to monitor the area.
Harassed by mystery buyer
I have a problem regarding the sale of a house in the Fast Track.
In June 1999 a friend of mine, Zanele Makhoba, asked me to look
after her house because she was too ill and had to go to Transkei.
Because I own my own house I asked Mavis to live in Zanele’s house
for a little while. In November Zanele passed away and Mavis has
been living there since then.
Last month a man known to us approached Mavis and asked her to leave
the house because she had bought it from Zanele’s sister for R10
000. When we asked him to produce a proper sales agreement, he failed.
A meeting was set up with him so that he may at least introduce
the seller, he also failed. Two committee members from the area
were invited to attend the meeting.
Meanwhile we had solicited the help of Zanele’s family to identify
the seller. They distanced themselves from the sale of Zanele’s
house. The man alleges that the councillor was present during the
sale. He alleges that the councillor said the sale could go on as
long as the two parties trusted each other.
The man has given Mavis a 21-day ultimatum to evacuate the premises.
I have advised Mavis not to move out of the house until the matter
is resolved. But the reality is that we are scared and we do not
know what to do because we have pursued many avenues but we are
not getting any results.
Dumile Madlakadlaka, Wiggins Fast Track East
The CMDA responds:
Your letter is a good example of the types of problems which
can emerge with sales which are not properly documented. It also
shows why it is useful to draw up a simple will to make your wishes
clear in the event of your death.
If someone dies without leaving some type of will, it is unclear
who their belongings, including their house, belong to. Usually
in this situation we make arrangements for other family members
who may have been sharing the house to get formal rights to it,
especially if they are responsible for the children of the person
who has died.
In this case it is not clear who the seller is and it seems from
what you write that they may not have any right to sell the house
at all. If this is the case they can be prosecuted as this is illegal.
Please come through to our offices to discuss this further.
H Maxwell, Housing Manager CMDA
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