Police imbizo in Alexandra ‘ju

Deputy police minister Cassel Mathale, left, and Police Minister Bheki Cele. Photo: Elvis Tshikhudo / flickr governmentza

Police imbizo in Alexandra ‘just an exercise in PR’ claims ward councillor

Deputy police minister Cassel Mathale and national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole represented the Police Ministry at the Alexandra Ministerial Imbizo on Sunday.

Police imbizo in Alexandra ‘ju

Deputy police minister Cassel Mathale, left, and Police Minister Bheki Cele. Photo: Elvis Tshikhudo / flickr governmentza

The safety imbizo comes after Police Minister Bheki Cele, Mathale and Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko’s initial visit to Alexandra on 19 January in response to a call by community leaders after the fatal shooting of the late Samantha Radebe. 

At the time, the Alexandra sector policing forum claimed the bullet that killed Radebe, was fired by a police officer gone rogue. The forum’s chairperson Sandile Mavundla demanded that the officer needed to be held accountable.

“We want to see the guy in an orange uniform. He doesn’t belong in the community. He belongs in jail.”

Community wait for more than hour

On Sunday, however, the imbizo got underway more than an hour late as members of the community gathered at the Alexandra Stadium to listen to how government plans to address their policing and safety concerns in the township.

Mathale resigned from his position as Limpopo premier in 2014 after he came under fire for allegedly dishing out R2.7 billion in unauthorised expenditure to selected cronies.

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela and Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) boss David Tembe were also in attendance.

According to EWN, ward councillor Tefo Raphadu claimed the imbizo was likely to be just a PR exercise and that there was little hope of any of the community’s concerns being addressed sufficiently.

“It’s just a repetition of people coming in and doing a PR exercise, but let’s hope that things will change.”

Input from Alexandra

However, Cele’s acting spokesperson Mathapelo Peters said: “At a community imbizo we normally expect the community to raise its concerns and also give input and advice where possible in terms of how to better police.”

At the imbizo, Gauteng community policing forum chairperson Thokazani Masilela called on Mawela to come up with other plans to fight crime.

In his opinion, Mawela must work with former convicts to catch other criminals.

Cele pays last respects to slain cop

While the imbizo was underway in Alexandra, Cele paid his last respects at the funeral of slain police officer Sergeant Galeshewe Lloyd Poonyane, in Rammulotsi outside Viljoenskroon, in the Free State.

The 41-year-old sergeant was on duty with a colleague on Saturday 8 February in Vierfontein after they intercepted a suspicious vehicle in Orkney. Unknown suspects opened fire on the police members after which Poonyane was declared dead on the scene, and his colleague, Sergeant Lydia Tladi, 45, wounded and hospitalised. 

Following the incident, national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole activated a team from the North West Organised Crime Unit, Klerksdorp Trio Crime Unit, national and provincial crime intelligence units, as well as a tactical response team, to trace the suspects.

Two suspects were arrested within 48 hours of the shooting.