Bheki Cele dismisses claims that Diepsloot policing interventions have failed

Police Minister Bheki Cele said more than 100 members of the special forces had been deployed to the crime ravaged area following violent community protests calling for better policing.

Police Minister Bheki Cele visits Diepsloot amid ongoing protests on 7 April 2022.

JOHANNESBURG – Police Minister Bheki Cele has dismissed claims that the interventions made to deal with crime in Diepsloot have failed - just a day since their implementation.

Cele, accompanied by National Police Commissioner Sehlahle Masemola, was in Diepsloot to visit the scene where a man was killed in an apparent mob attack on Wednesday night.

The 43-year-old Elvis Nyathi was reportedly pelted with stones and dragged onto Thubelihle Street in Extension 1 by a mob that demanded residents produce IDs and passports to prove they weren’t undocumented nationals.

Cele said more than 100 members of the special forces had been deployed to the crime ravaged area following violent community protests calling for better policing.

“The fact that there is somebody who died does not mean that the situation is out of control. We have deployments in this area, there are police and we have made more than 24 arrests,” he said.

While neighbours expressed fear and shock at the attack on Nyathi it has emerged that another man was assaulted by the same mob that murdered the father of four.

Standing near the bloodstained ground where the second victim was beaten, neighbour Eclick Mphalle said she feared for her life.

“They must send _amaberethe _to protect and guard us 24/7 because we aren’t safe here - we don’t sleep.”

With extra boots on the ground residents said they still feared for their lives.

They said police had failed to prevent or even stop crime in the area but Cele disagreed, saying, “I hear some people saying there were no police but 24 people were arrested here. Now, I don’t know who arrested them if there were no police.”

Masemola confirmed no arrested had been made in connection with the murder.

“Police were not phoned to come out, police were patrolling, they came across this group of people. You see the area yourself. If someone runs away, police couldn’t find them.”

Cele would return to the township on Friday when he was expected to give feedback on more permanent solutions to the situation in the area but this has brought little comfort for the community.