Police Minister Bheki Cele on Wednesday addressed the enraged community, who were protesting outside the police station, in an attempt to restore calm.
Residents of Diepsloot, Gauteng, protested on Wednesday in response to the murders of seven locals over the weekend.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the murders.
“For the past weekend, approximately seven people were killed in the area, which then prompted the unrest. But in the last quarter, from October until December, 11 people were killed and only four were arrested.
“We believe the community has a case when they say there has been no response from the police to arrest those involved in the murder incidents, and it is on that basis that the national commissioner will, in the next 24 hours, send a dedicated team of detectives, with resources, to focus on these cases,” said Cele.
The ward councillor, Abraham Mabuke, said the unrest was sparked by an increase in crime in the area.
“Every day, there are a number of murders. Over the weekend, seven people were killed and about 14 people were shot,” said Mabuke.
The residents of Diepsloot have had enough of the high crime rate.
“This is not the first time the police minister has appeared in the community. He came here around February 2020, [with] Aaron Motsoaledi [minister of home affairs], and promises were made. But these promises have not been fulfilled,” Mabuke said.
Mabuke claimed, without producing evidence, that police management reports showed illegal immigrants were to blame for some of the crime in the area.
“We, as members of the community, have come to a conclusion that illegal immigrants is a problem. Therefore, they must go.”
Phindile Shabangu, a community member, said: “We recently conducted a community patrol in the area and discovered these illegal immigrants were selling drugs.
“When we went to the police station to report this matter, we were accused of breaking into houses and were arrested.
“This means we don’t have any powers, as a community, and we should just fold our arms and watch as these criminals take over our community.”
Shabangu argued that it was not a case of xenophobia, they just wanted the government to address their concerns.