Cele admits to ‘police failures’ in Zandspruit, vows thorough investigation

Cele admits to ‘police failures’ in Zandspruit, vows thorough investigation

Police Minister Bheki Cele has vowed to attend to Zandspruit residents’ claims of inefficient policing in the area.

Police minister Bheki Cele in Zandspruit 22 May 2021
Photo: Twitter/SAPoliceService

Cele visited the informal settlement in Johannesburg on Saturday, following the killing of eight young men during a mob attack. 

In his address to the community, Cele told residents that Zandspruit deserves improved service delivery.

"One major problem was the response of the police on that particular day," Cele said.

"Surely, if they had responded better than the way they did, the situation would have been better here.”

Cele said there were other contributing factors.

"There's a piling of crimes that are not resolved in this particular area," Cele said.

"Then there are those people that put themselves as leaders, yet they run the crime activities using the youth here.”

Cele has ordered an urgent investigation into why the police response time was slow on the morning of the attacks.


"There is no doubt police in this area have many challenges due to the ever increasing population size and poor living conditions that impede on crime fighting efforts. However, some of the problems faced by the police are self-made," Cele said.

"It’s really disheartening to hear that calls were made to the police while the youngsters were still alive but yet police vans took hours to respond, so that’s why I have tasked the provincial commissioner to get to the bottom of these claims and I expect answers in the coming days"

While in the area, Cele, accompanied by Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko, met with provincial police management for a full briefing about the vigilante killings and the progress that police have made in the case.

The minister also had an engagement with community leadership structures, to find out what could have led this community into taking the law into their own hands.

"Representatives of the local CPF and other recognised community safety structures expressed several policing and safety concerns," explained Cele's spokesperson Lirandzu Themba.

"They reported to the Minister that the Honeydew police station, which also serves the Zandspruit area, provides poor service to the community.

"They claim the local police are not only corrupt but at times ignore their policing needs.

"Some in the meeting believe the death of the 8 youngsters who were severely assaulted and burnt, could have been avoided if police responded on time.”


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