Natalie Grobler
2 minute read
18 Feb 2017
6:15 pm

Pta house torching: CPF says situation could be far from over

Natalie Grobler

Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane condemned the acts of violence and damage to property in Pretoria West.

Some streets were closed in Pretoria West after a house was set on fire. Picture: Supplied

Xenophobia may be the underlying issue that sparked Pretoria community members to set a house on fire in Pretoria West on Saturday morning, reports the Pretoria Moot Rekord.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY: Notorious Pretoria West house set alight

According to Pretoria West Community Policing Forum (CPF) spokesperson Thesigan Pillay, the house and Wendy house which were torched belonged to foreign nationals.

“A primary reason for the attack could be ascribed to policing dissatisfaction and lack of bylaw enforcement,” said Pillay, adding that his view remained that the attack might only be the beginning.

“We are meeting with the community to talk about issues and how we can move forward without resorting to violence. Although social problems are serious, we cannot stress it enough that community members should not take the law into their own hands.”

He said xenophobia is not acceptable.

“Mob unrest is steadily increasing, for example, the Bremer Street unrest. The motivation might be the same but the same mob culture is developing,” Pillay said.

Tshwane emergency services spokesperson, Johan Pieterse, said on Saturday morning that the house was burned down but that the Wendy only gained smoke damage. He said four people were inside the Wendy house at the time of the incident but that no one was injured.

Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane condemned the acts of violence and damage to property in Pretoria West.

“Community members went on a rampage destroying properties belonging to alleged drug dealers and brothel owners in the area. So far, two properties belonging to foreign nationals have been burned,” Nkosi said in a statement said.

“It is a constitutional right for members of our communities to organise themselves and engage in a peaceful protest but once that right is violated by burning and vandalising of properties, it becomes a crime.”

Nkosi said communities have avenues that they can explore to raise their policing concerns instead of resorting to illegal and violent protests.

“These avenues include raising their concerns with their local community policing forum, the cluster commander, provincial police hotline (082 820 6467) or lay a complaint at my department’s complaints division so that the matter can be investigated and resolved,” the MEC said.

Caxton News Service

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