Residents of the West Rand have issued a warning to the police that they will not stop looking for anyone suspected of being zama zamas until the government accepts responsibility for its failures. During a meeting to tackle crime that took place in Kagiso on Sunday, residents warned Police Minister Bheki Cele that their dire warnings about the effects of the illicit mining sector in the area had been ignored.
Bheki Cele was present at the meeting. The second leg of the imbizo continued, during which time the community continued to demand that the military step in so that order could be restored. The tensions in the town reached a breaking point the week before last when irate demonstrators torched numerous homes and attacked mine shafts in search of illegal mining workers they accuse of engaging in criminal activity.
This comes in the wake of an incident that occurred a month ago in which eight women who were working on a set for the filming of a music video were raped by guys who are thought to be zama zamas. Residents took the microphone in succession, one after the other, and continued to make impassioned pleas, make despondent complaints, and threaten additional acts of violence.
One of the residents said, "You should arrest me now because I'm saying to you, should you fail to remove those zama zamas, I will lead this community - we only have our hands, that is the only weapon we have," and the other resident said, "You should arrest me now because I'm saying to you, should you fail to remove those zama zamas." "You have got to put an end to giving these people food.
Put an end to it with your votes! They must have a good understanding of how chilly it is on the other side "the local resident continued. The gap in trust that exists between the men and women who wear blue and the communities they serve continues to deepen as it appears that law enforcement officials are continually going back to the drawing board. "We demand that you replace every single member of the SAPS stationed in Kagiso. They are of no utility whatsoever "Another local citizen made the demand. The Minister of Police, Cele, has promised that additional interventions will be carried out in the region until quiet is once again restored.
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