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 Thieves even take the kitchen sink

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PosOnderwerp: Thieves even take the kitchen sink   Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:45 pm

2010-06-25 22:09






Johannesburg - Thieves have robbed the newly renovated Carletonville police station, stealing everything down to the kitchen sink.

Officers from the police station in Carletonville, west of Johannesburg, had moved into a smaller building so their station could be renovated, but thieves stripped the unguarded facility bare when the renovations were almost complete, the opposition Democratic Alliance said on Friday.

"It's a very bizarre situation," DA police spokesperson Dianne Kohler-Barnard told AFP.

"We have a police station being robbed of everything. Stripped. It's more than robbed. It's absolutely gutted."

She said the thieves had stolen toilets, cupboards, windows, doors and even the kitchen sink.

"The local community moved in and cleared out everything - even the mortuary fridges were taken," she said.

Kohler-Barnard blamed the ministry of public works, which was in charge of the renovations, for failing to secure the property.

Millions to re-renovate

The police station will have to renovated again at the cost of millions, said Kohler-Barnard.

"The damage runs into millions, a huge expense, which will have to be paid again after the thieves cleared out the building.

"And who is going to pay for it?"

She said the initial renovations began in 2008. The department of public works renovated the buildings and after finishing most of the work left without ensuring that there was proper security.

Apparently a security company was employed to guard the unoccupied building, but never showed up.

"In other words, they were paid for the work, but never did it."

Kohler-Barnard said she became aware of the situation about a month ago. It was not clear exactly when the building was stripped.

At the moment, the police were housed in three small buildings in Carletonville, at a cost of R127 000 a month.

"There are no holding cells, no parking, hardly any facilities for them to do their work with," Kohler-Barnard said.

A Carletonville police spokesperson said she was not aware of the police station being stripped.

The ministry's spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
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PosOnderwerp: Crime not such a big problem - police   Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:48 pm

2010-05-19 22:57






Pretoria - After accepting a memorandum voicing the country's anger about the crime situation in Pretoria on Wednesday, police Brigadier Phuntsi Chipu said that crime was not as big a problem as people thought.

Chipu said the police welcomed the initiative and that "every step with the community to fight crime is one in a positive direction".

However, he said South Africa was a safe country and that crime was not as big a problem as people thought.

"It is safe, crime is everywhere in the world. It's no worse in South Africa," Chipu said.

Handing over a memorandum to Chipu, Solidarity's general secretary Flip Buys said lazy and inefficient officials needed to be removed from the ranks as people had become tired of the bloodshed.

'Remove lazy cops'

"We express our gratitude towards the thousands of police members who risk their lives to make South Africa safer."

"At the same time, we call for the removal of inefficient, lazy and corrupt police officials," Buys said.

He said the protest had been necessary because crime was out of control and people feared for their safety.

"Through this protest memorandum we wanted to voice our anger about the crime situation and indicate that we will not allow crime to be regarded as a normal part of society."

"Crime is abnormal and this is why we are protesting against it. The day we stop protesting is the day we will have lost the fight."

Buys said the community was also committed to the battle and that it would co-operate with the police to bring a ceasefire.

Nationwide call


Crime victims and their relatives gathered in Pretoria to voice their rage and frustration at the impact crime had on their lives.

The protest was part of a nationwide call by Solidarity and AfriForum to "end the bloodshed".

"I was stabbed for my cellphone, I'm glad it (the wound) wasn't too serious," was a note attached to a rose laid at the Solidarity protest.

"My son died of a heroin overdose. I've had two house-breakings," read another note attached to a flower.

Alta Espach said her son was murdered a year and six months ago. On her red outfit was the logo "we are tired of blood".

"I just wish that they (the police) can find the person. We built our plot next to him (her son) so that he could be our security."

Police had told the family they were trying to bring them justice, but there had been no results.

'Zimbabwe is safer'


While many complained that the police were lazy and not doing enough to bring the crime situation under control, some were sympathetic.

"I don't think they have the means," said Karen van Zyl, from Rayton.

"I feel it's a great pity for them because there is not enough of them," she said.

Lourens Hamman said he thought most people were influenced directly or indirectly by crime and that the death penalty needed to be brought in to stamp out criminality.

"Why is Zimbabwe safer? Why is Botswana a safer country? It's because they have the death penalty," Hamman said.

"People murder and they go on a long vacation to jail," he said. His wife Liezel added: "I don't want to live in a jail anymore."

Race issues

Race was a central point at the rally with some claiming that farmers were attacked after would-be murderers were incited by songs like "shoot the boer".

However Van Zyl said she felt crime was not a race issue and that a petition was needed for a peaceful and prosperous country for all.

"Today I just thought I'd let my red show."

The theme of the march was that the country should "see red" over crime and show that people were tired of blood at the hands of criminals.

Herman Deyzel said his car had been stolen and that he and his wife felt victimised and scared that they would be harmed.

"I'm turning 60, I was born here and I would like to die here," he said adding that he hoped his death would be from natural causes.

1 000 red balloons


After releasing 1 000 red balloons into the sky, a painting by artist Salomi Prinsloo was unveiled.

Titled "Butchered Rainbow", Prinsloo's piece of protest art showed the crime statistics from 2006 to 2008 blending into a flood of water engulfing high grass.

The bottom part of the artwork was also etched with thousands of lines.

"These are not numbers. These are lines of the people who have been murdered. It's not acceptable, life is precious," she said.

The group, which had gathered at the Harlequin Club in Groenkloof, split up into smaller groups which were to hand memorandums to police stations across the greater Pretoria area.
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