Nyanga police station got a surprise visit on Tuesday February 14, when President Jacob Zuma arrived at the station – unannounced.
He held a brief meeting with the station’s management to discuss strategies to strengthen the fight against crime in the area. Nyanga has, for several years now, maintained it’s status as the murder capital of South Africa.
Mr Zuma said he wanted to hear first-hand information about the challenges faced by the station and that part of the reason for his visit was to assess police strategies and to see where government could assist. He said he intended having a meeting with the Justice Cluster to discuss better ways to deal some of the problems facing the station.
He also urged the community to support police efforts to root out crime. “When I delivered the State of the Nation Address (on Thursday February 9), I highlighted crime as one of the main challenges that we should deal with swiftly. I felt that I need to have a discussion with the people who are in charge of the station to see how much are they doing to fight crime. I have heard about their challenges,” he said.
Chairperson of the Nyanga Community Police Forum (CPF), Buyisile Makasi, said they were happy about the president’s visit as it gave them the opportunity to voice their grievances and challenges.
Mr Makasi lashed out at certain provincial and national government departments, saying they were not playing their role in assisting the police. He stressed that Nyanga police were expected to be caregivers, nurses and social workers while the people who were meant to do those jobs “sat in their offices”.
Mr Makasi said everything that was said to Mr Zuma had been raised before with other ministers.
Nyanga police station commander Brigadier Vuyisile Ncata told Vukani he was delighted that Mr Zuma had visited the station and that he had informed the president about some of the challenges they were grappling with.
Among those was alcohol abuse, which fuelled crime in the area.
“The president told us that he was deeply concerned about the high usage of drugs. And we hope that because he had visited us we will get more support,” he said.