3 August 2022
Dozens of Nyanga residents, mostly women, marched to Nyanga police station on Wednesday to demand that police arrest violent criminals in the community. The group, led by women’s rights group Baphi Abafazi Movement (BAM), held a prayer service at the site where the body of a teenage girl was found in a wheelie bin on Sunday.
The murder and the recent rape and assault of another woman in Nyanga prompted members of Baphi Abafazi to get police to prioritise investigations into these cases.
Outside the police station, picketers held up posters which read: “Hands off our women” and “We have had enough.”
Crossroads resident Patrick Mwanda said they want the SAPS to install CCTV cameras which could lead to more arrests.
Baphi Abafazi co-founder Ntombi Hlaphezulu said the two crimes over the past weekend had angered residents who believe police should be doing more.
“We want police to make Nyanga a safe place,” she said, adding that visible policing during the day and night was needed to deter crime.
Mikie Gocini of Baphi Abafazi, said, “We don’t feel safe anymore. Nyanga seems to belong more to criminals than to law-abiding residents. What angers us is that the police know who committed these horrendous crimes but they don’t arrest them.”
Lindiwe Macingwane said the women wanted to be trained in counselling and be assigned to the trauma room at the police station. She said the trauma room was often closed.
Acting station commander, Siphiwo Sithole, told picketers that police were working on the two cases. “These are serious cases. Many vans have gone out to hunt down the suspects,” he said.
In response to the allegation that the station’s trauma room was always closed, he said, “We close the trauma room when there are no crime victims needing counselling to prevent members from using it as a place to eat in.”
When GroundUp asked Western Cape police for recent crime statistics for Nyanga, spokesman Frederick Van Wyk said, “Due to a national moratorium, crime statistics are not disclosed to the media.”
According to a statement in June 2022 by Western Cape Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen, there were 161 murders in Nyanga in the 2021-22 year, compared to 203 the previous year.