Residents praise police efforts against crime

Stunned community members at the scene where one alleged robber was arrested.

The Mfuleni Community Policing Forum (CPF) says it is impressed by the police’s swift reaction following the arrest of a 25-year-old man on Tuesday August 23.

The man, from Khayelitsha, was arrested while allegedly trying to rob a shop belonging to a foreign national.

Three of his accomplices managed to escape. It is believed that the four went inside the shop with the owners and robbed them at gunpoint.

A taxi driver apparently informed members of the public order police unit of the robbery, leading to the arrest of one of the suspects.

CPF and South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco) chairman Bongani Tyembile said Mfuleni was under siege. He said there had been a surge in robberies at shops, as well as an increase in theft of flat screen TVs. Mr Tyembile urged the community to continue working with police. “This brings back confidence to people,” he said.

Mr Tyembile said a meeting to be attended by shop owners, the Agency for Refugee Education, Skills Training and Advocacy (ARESTA), schools and churches would take place soon.

“We need more awareness campaigns. There is a need for us to go to schools and churches to deliberate on these matters. But we are also talking to Aresta to bring foreigners and Mfuleni people together. They need to know that we are brothers and sisters,” he said.

Mr Tyembile also urged residents to always make sure that their homes were locked, and to beware of strangers who ask for water.

Sector forum crime chairman Thembile George applauded the police and the community for working together and encouraged residents to report crime to police. He also cautioned against the increase in business robberies.

“In our monthly meetings with the police we always report business robberies. It is a big problem,” he said. “The sad part is that robbers are from outside Mfuleni.”

Mr George said people visited the area with intention of committing crime. He made a call to residents to establish a neighbourhood watch.

“Police have shown that they are working for us and with us. Our police are now doing the job we expect them to do,” he said. “It is now our time to take the baton forward. We need to defend ourselves and our children.”

Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said the arrested man had been short in the leg and arrested.

“Three men who were with him managed to get away and left behind their getaway vehicles. A rental car and a white bakkie were found,” said Captain Van Wyk.