Bernadette Wicks
Senior court reporter
3 minute read
23 Oct 2021
6:55 am

Police raids at Mashaba’s behest slammed

Bernadette Wicks

While the raids were conducted under the guise of clamping down on violent crime, they were, in truth, aimed at exerting pressure on residents to vacate the “hijacked” buildings and rounding up undocumented migrants.

Police officers seize generators that were suspected of being stolen during a raid on a hijacked building as part of a raid on Nugget Street in Johannesburg on 23 June 2017. The raids were part of a drive by Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula's visit to gain an appreciation for the Operational Command Centre. Picture for illustration: Yeshiel Panchia

The country’s apex court has declared legislation under which the police in 2017 and 2018 carried out a series of “cruel, degrading and invasive” raids in downtown Johannesburg – without any warrants – to be constitutionally invalid. Between June 2017 and May 2018, Saps and Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers – along with officials from the department of home affairs – carried out a string of operations in the CBD, cordoning off supposedly hijacked apartment blocks and conducting warrantless raids. This at the behest of then mayor Herman Mashaba. The majority of these raids were authorised under Section 13(7)...