Thembelihle residents: Police were just doing their job

Yesterday residents embarked on a picket opposite the Lenasia Police Station.

FILE: Residents have told Eyewitness News that community leaders must address the criminal element in the informal settlement instead of blaming police. Picture: @JMPDSafety

JOHANNESBURG - A group of residents in Thembelihle say police were just doing their job when they tried to quell the volatile situation in the informal settlement during the violent service protests.

Yesterday residents embarked on a picket opposite the Lenasia Police Station amid claims by some that police abused their power during the protests over a lack of housing, electricity, water and sanitation in the area.

Residents have told Eyewitness News that community leaders must address the criminal element in the informal settlement instead of blaming police.

This person says change is needed.

"We were very excited when police moved into the squatter camp. I think police did their job. They arrested some which was good and made the situation stable."

Residents say the Gauteng MEC must still address their grievances.

Amid the poor turnout yesterday, convener of the picket Kagiso Digopo says the picket went well, the message has made an impact because he saw one of the police officers was being interviewed by the media.

He says the picket served as a stepping stone towards a broader campaign to have those responsible brought to account for such unwarranted actions.