Police failed us, we also failed ourselves – Olievenhoutbosch community leader

Following Minister Bheki Cele's visit to Olievenhoutbosch, community leader Ben Mampya has said they will soon have their own policing forum and they are hoping residents will soon feel safe enough to go out at night.

FILE: Olievenhoutbosch community leader Ben Mampya has said they will soon have their own community policing forum. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – Olievenhoutbosch residents are hoping for some drastic changes now that the police have arrested two wanted criminals in their neighbourhood, but community leaders have said more work still lay ahead.

Three months ago, Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the area in Centurion where 1,800 cold cases were closed with no arrests made and residents pleaded for a change in police management.

The police have since reopened 500 of those cold cases and appointed a task team and a new station commander.

READ: Olievenhoutbosch residents hope for safety as police probe nearly 500 cold cases

Some residents who spoke to Eyewitness News said that they were hopeful that with the police minister's drastic interventions in Olievenhoutbosch, police corruption would be something of the past.

A woman in the area said: “We are still not safe; we are still not sure we are safe.”

But community leader Ben Mampya has said that they would soon have their own community policing forum and they were hoping that residents would soon feel safe enough to go out at night.

“When you have lived in fear for a very long time, you are still not [because] the police have been failing us. But we as the community as well have been failing ourselves. We have not been coming out to say, ‘these are the problems.’”

It’s understood that a piece of land has been identified where the police hope to build another station to service the community, but that land belongs to the City of Tshwane and needs to be released first.

In May, Cele was concerned about the community reporting that officers did not respond to their callouts simply because of no transport and found that 12 vehicles were in for repairs for months.

Cele's office has confirmed that all the vehicles were back on the road again.

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