Corruption, laziness, inept investigations, arrogance from officials, shoddy work and a place to just certify documents are some of the grievances levelled by community members against police officials at Loate Police Station in Winterveldt during an EFF led march.
EFF regional secretary Obakeng Ramabodu led protesters outside the police station’s gate, after their local members discovered that people had various grievances arising from problems with the station.
Ramabodu and the EFF’s ward candidate councillor Esther Masanabo brought people with stories about how they were allegedly denied adequate assistance at the station.
Masanabo said: “We need to build strategic and working relationships with the cohesive components of the state, particularly the police. It is within that context that, today, we are here at Loate Police Station to submit a memorandum on behalf of the residents.
“During engagements with communities, we have heard various reports of criminal activities that happen within the communities but remain unattended to, or the suspects are simply let loose without facing the might of the law.”
She said the station should give the community its crime statistics, and updates on investigations and cases, especially on matters relating to gender-based violence, child abuse, house robberies and housebreakings, which are common crimes in the area.
Ramabodu said, as a child from Lebanon, it was disappointing to see the police station lose its respect and integrity due to a few rotten officers, who failed to do their work, and created a strained relationship between the police station and the people it was meant to serve.
He said it was particularly concerning that the protest took place at the entrance for over an hour, but not a single person or vehicle could be seen coming to the station. He said that normally would be a great indicator that the police were working hard and that there was no crime in the area, but unfortunately that was not the case.
“When a police station is standing like this, it was not built by former president Thabo Mbeki or Jacob Zuma as our people like to say. Where would they get that kind of money? It was built by your taxes. You, therefore, have a right to ensure that taxpayers’ money is utilised properly.
“That accountability is what we want to see from the police here, because we pay for the vehicles that they use and everything else – including their uniforms and firearms. Can we please get some results?” Ramabodu asked.
Captain Gabanthate Ramaswele told the crowd that the police station belongs to them and that they should not give up or be afraid to report criminals from the communities where they reside, and even within the station itself.
She said cases will be investigated and their grievances would be submitted to senior police officials in Tshwane.