No sign of police station

Residents built a wall and painted it as a reminder that a police station was meant to be built on the land.

Five years after the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry into policing released its findings and recommendations, among which was that an additional police station be built, the site is still standing empty, populated only by bushes of grass and weeds.

The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) says it is disappointed that government has not yet built Makhaza police station.

The SJC, representatives of the community of Makhaza and other stakeholders met on Monday August 26 at the open field earmarked for the construction of the police station, and built a wall which will act as a reminder that there should be a police station there.

Mandisa Dyantyi, deputy general secretary SJC, said her organisation occupied the space to put pressure on government to implement change and build the police station.

She said the failure to take the necessary steps to ensure the construction of the Makhaza police station had been reflected in the police’s annual reports.

She added that in two presentations made to the Portfolio Committee of Police in 2018, the SJC had highlighted these failures. “We have been talking to SAPS on different platforms. But since then, the SAPS finally acquired the land for the proposed police station. To date, however, no construction has been initiated on the site earmarked for the station. People are dying in townships. It is well documented that Harare police station is not well resourced,” she said.

Ms Dyantyi said five years since the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry, not much has changed for the residents of the impoverished township.

“The community of Makhaza in Khayelitsha continues to face obstacles from national, provincial and local government as far as accessing justice is concerned.

“Despite key findings to improve the lack of infrastructure in Khayelitsha, government failed to implement the recommendations of the Commission.

“We hope this will revive their conscious. People still don’t have access to justice. The Harare Police cannot cope if you look at this precinct.

“To this point the police station has not been built. To this point there hasn’t been a progress,” she said.

Among those at Monday’s gathering was Ward 96 councillor Danile Khatshwa who said he had also pushed for the construction of the police station.

He said initially the police station was supposed to be built in 2015 and later shifted to 2017 but nothing has been done.

“We are a community that is under attack. Harare police station is overcrowded. The community of Makhaza has grown tremendously. That means Harare policing won’t be improved.

“The pain of it is that from Rea Phiyega to Bheki Cele they have been promising. We need to be delivered to not played with,” he said.

Police did not respond to Vukani’s enquiries by the time this edition went to print.