More police deployed to Westbury protests

Monday, October 1, 2018

Tensions in Westbury remained on a knife’s edge on Monday - with residents again clashing with police over gangsterism and drug abuse allegedly plaguing the area.

Roads remain blockaded in the morning, with reports suggesting that a larger police contingent had been deployed in the suburb in an effort to quell the unrest.

Protesters from the area went on a rampage protesting, barricading all entry and exit points. 

A woman was shot and killed while her child was wounded when protests started on Thursday. According to reports, the police were yet to arrest the suspect who allegedly fired live ammunition from his vehicle.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, on Friday expressed concern about the incident.

Nkosi-Malobane in September visited the Sophiatown policing precinct on a safety outreach programme aimed at addressing amongst other things bullying incidents, gangsterism and the scourge of drugs.

"I am worried about the incidents of gangsterism that continue to rear its ugly head and the killing of innocent citizens. What is more disturbing is the fact that the latest incident happened in the backdrop of a campaign and engagement session with the residents of Sophiatown Policing Precinct, of which Westbury is part of, on safety issues affecting them,” she said.

“Such incidents cannot go unabated as they threaten the safety of our communities and leave our people with long term devastating effects of trauma as they have to witness them.”

She added that the provincial government would not be deterred in its quest to eradicate the scourge, adamant that these efforts would not be held to ransom by “senseless and barbaric criminals”. 

“We are going to deploy policing resources in the area to tackle this scourge head on and also deal decisively with the local police inefficiency to address outstanding cases related to this matter,” said MEC Nkosi-Malobane. 

The MEC called on the community to remain calm and resist the temptation of taking the law into their own hands but allow the law enforcement agencies to work on the case. 

“I am confident that the police will present a water tight case against the two arrested suspects to ensure that they receive the harshest possible sentence. This will send a strong message that we are prepared to deal decisively with criminals in Gauteng Province," she said. –