By Kaya 959 Reporter
A specialised task team has been set up to monitor Tshwane as the countdown to local government elections gets underway.
The Police Ministry recently led two street Imbizos in Mamelodi and Mabopane after Tshwane was identified as a hotspot for potential politically motivated violence and threats.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said during the imbizos, community members had the opportunity to express some of their policing concerns and needs.
Deputy Minister Cassel Mathale, Gauteng Community Safety and Liaison MEC Faith Mazibuko and the SAPS management team from both the province and national also attended.
Residents said they were concerned about a spike in gender-based violence and security following the murder of a ward councillor in Mabopane.
Councillors under the spotlight
Cele assured residents that politicians using criminals to influence democratic processes cannot and will not be tolerated.
He said there are people who want to be councillors, not on behalf of the people in the community but on behalf of criminal syndicates so that the thugs they serve can continue to terrorise and extort businesses in the area.
“There are also politicians who are trying to have their preferred candidates contest elections and believe using violence and intimidation tactics is going to work, it won’t. We are going hard on this phenomenon, the SAPS and the detective team that has been appointed will ensure that everyone who is involved in these crimes is dealt with accordingly,” he said.
Residents also called on the police to increase service delivery.
A mobile police station in the Kopanong area has now been opened following the Imbizo. This station will service the growing informal settlement along with the existing police station in Mamelodi East.
In addition, Tactical Response Teams (TRT) teams have also been deployed as force multipliers in both Mamelodi, Mabopane and surrounding areas.
“We are encouraged by this deployment and believe the additional boots on the ground will also go a long way in dealing with tension and threats before, during and after the November elections,” Cele said.