News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Monday July 22nd 2019

MEC joins residents in march against police brutality

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato (wearing white hat) supported about 200 Philippi residents who marched to their local police station to protest against police brutality. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN

Community Safety MEC, Dan Plato, came out in support of about 200 Philippi residents who marched to their Weltevreden police station to protest against police brutality on Wednesday.

The march against police brutality was the second in the area this month. Up to 1 000 residents from Samora Machel marched to the Nyanga police station on January 15 after resident, Zamuxolo Zozo, died in police custody on January 8 after he was apprehended following a complaint of domestic violence. While Zozo died at the Nyanga police station, it is believed the police officers who arrested him came from the Weltevreden police station in Philippi’s Heinz Park.

Outside the Weltevreden police station on Wednesday, residents from Kosovo and Heinz Park in Philippi shouted at the police lined up outside the station, demanding they stop beating residents. Residents said the police are failing in their duty toward them. Instead of protecting them, residents become victims.

Reading a memorandum handed to police, Kosovo Sanco chairperson Patrick Ngqu said: “We are not working against the police but we demand a stop to brutality.”

Referring to four police men being investigated for Zozo’s death, Ngqu said residents demanded the “law take its course”.

He said police involved in a shooting incident earlier this month in Kosovo, in which a teenager was injured, should also be arrested. Ngqu said a 14-year-old boy was injured on Christmas day while on his way home after buying airtime at a shop. He said police saw him running and shot at him, hitting him in the leg.

Ngqu said the boy was still not able to attend school this year and remained on crutches. He demanded the police station be closed, but residents disagreed.

Heinz Park Community Policing Forum Chairperson, Victor Louis, said the police station was needed but police needed to do their work properly.

“The police station must not close, but police must do their work,” said Louis. “Everyone has the freedom of safety and security; we are all bound by the same law. As residents of Heinz Park we’re not supporting police brutality, we say police need proper training.”

MEC Dan Plato said he was there to support the residents. “It’s clear the law must take its course for those who are involved in brutality,” said Plato.

Police also had a memorandum they handed to residents. It stated that residents must stop hiding criminals, provide information about drugs, stolen goods and fraud in their area, and must stop stoning police vans.

Nyanga police station commander, Bridagia Manci, said they were committed to serving the community and wished to build a partnership with residents.

“All our vans have contact numbers. Residents can use them. On the other hand, the community must stop stoning our vehicles, by doing that they’re committing suicide.” – Nombulelo Damba

Tags: Bridagia Manci, Dan Plato, Heinz Park, Kosovo, Nyanga police station, Patrick Ngqu, philippi, Victor Louis, Weltevreden police station, Zamuxolo Zozo

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