Alex not a lawless area, Gauteng top cop tells HRC inquiry

Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela was giving evidence at the South African Human Rights Commissions’ inquiry which has been set up to probe possible violations of human rights in Alexandra.

General Elias Mawela briefing media about all security-related operations for the Orange Africa Cup of Nation 2013. Picture: GCIS.

BRAAMFONTEIN - Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela disputed claims that Alexandra was a lawless area.

Mawela gave evidence at the South African Human Rights Commissions’ inquiry which has been set up to probe possible violations of human rights in Alexandra.

It was also looking at maladministration and corruption in the multi-million rand Alex Renewal Project.

Gauteng Cooperative Governance officials told the inquiry how Alexandra was a lawless community.

However, Mawela said that was not the case despite challenges of resources and staff.

“Crime does happen in Alexandra. We are of the opinion that the police and members of Alexandra are doing their best to take control of the crime situation in Alexandra. What we don’t agree with is to say that there is lawlessness.”

It’s estimated that Alexandra has a population of more than 170,000 and the accepted international ratio is one officer to 288 people.

However, Mawela said in Alexandra this is not the case: “We’ve had a lot of firearms confiscated, illegal liquor outlets were closed. Inspections were conducted in some of the outlets to check if they complied with the laws of the land.”

Mawela faced lengthy questioning by the inquiry panel.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)