Instead of preventing crime, Du Noon’s neighbourhood watch are a bunch of thugs enforcing a curfew and beating innocent people up, say residents.
Residents say the all-male neighbourhood watch, which started up with eight members in November and has expanded to about 20, beats people up when they return home late at night after working night shift, molest women by ‘searching’ them, and steal people’s wallets and purses.
Du Noon Advice Centre fieldworker Nombuyiselo Ngali said on Tuesday this week an elderly man who was coming home from a night church service was accosted by the neighbourhood watch members, who, after questioning him, beat him up in front of his five-year-old son.
Now residents are demanding that the neighborhood watch group be disbanded as it was just a cover up for thugs who terrorise the township, Ngali said.
She said numerous complaints from residents had been lodged at the Advice Centre.
She said women had complained that they were searched all over their bodies by the all-male neighbourhood watch members and were left traumatised and humiliated by the invasion of their privacy.
A resident of West Beach two informal settlement who is a waiter at a Table View Beach front restaurant said upon return home from work late on Monday night the neighbourhood watch stopped him and asked him where he came from.
Although he told them, they started slapping him and punching him in the face.
Not wanting to give his name for fear they’d return and beat him up, he said crime had not decreased since the neighbourhood watch had started their thuggish patrols.
Du Noon Advice Centre Director Philemon Khoza, said residents were furious with the group.
Khoza said it was unfortunate that instead of preventing crime, the neighbourhood watch was causing it.
“They are beating innocent people,” he said.
Members of the neighbourhood watch, who hold their meetings in a shebeen, refused to comment and threatened to assault this reporter if they were bothered further.
Milnerton police did not respond to questions. – West Cape News