Cele calls for investigation into alleged involvement of police in crime at KZN township

SABC News Bheki Cele 1 - Cele calls for investigation into alleged involvement of police in crime at KZN township

Police Minister Bheki Cele has called for an urgent investigation into the alleged involvement of some police officers in criminal activities at the Osizweni Township in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The community has criticised the local police for ignoring gang violence that has claimed six lives since August.

Cele was addressing an Imbizo with the community in an effort to end the conflict between warring gangs. The violence is also said to be fuelled by drug turf wars.

Community members have relayed harrowing accounts about the reign of terror unleashed by the gangs. Six youth have been killed since August, with some being hacked to death while others were shot. In one incident caught on a cellphone, a gang member was hacked and burnt to death in the presence of police.  At least ten schools have been affected. During exams last week, St. Lewis High School had to call police to prevent a gang from ransacking it to avenge an attack from a rival gang.

Community members say, “As the community, we are not excited by holding these meetings, drinking free water and speaking to the authorities with these microphones. The thing is, in such meetings, there’s no programme of action. We want a programme of action from such meetings to say that here is a clear direction for the community to follow so that we will deter crime. Some of the police vehicles deliver dagga, two of the police are involved in gangsterism. They are working in cahoots with drug lords.”

Cele has vowed to root out crime in the area by giving the area a special focus and introducing patrols. He also called for an investigation into the local police.

“The community is very clear that there is troublesome police, as the Commissioner said the investigation will go beyond that two police but into the entire police station.”

Cele revealed that since April this year, police have confiscated 24 firearms and a huge amount of mandrax and heroin in the area. He says this shows there’s a kingpin who’s behind the gang violence.

“When you talk about sophisticated mandrax and heroin that’s here and guns going together. We want to believe from the side of police that somebody is pushing his or her evil head to confuse so that their businesses can go well. We are told that young people here even when you deal with them today, tomorrow they change from the position which tells you that somebody works on them.”

The gangs snubbed the meeting despite making promises to attend. Cele has confirmed that only two people have been arrested for gang violence between the two rival gangs.

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