Sibongumenzi Sibiya

By Sbonga Sibiya

Video Journalist

WATCH: Diepsloot residents burn stalls and close businesses to try force Ramaphosa to listen

Diepsloot residents also torched shacks they alleged belonged to criminals in the area. 

The community of Diepsloot has called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to visit the area following ongoing protests against crime in the area.

Protest against crime

The residents delivered a memorandum to the Diepsloot police station on Tuesday, saying they are fed up with the high levels of crime in the area. 

Deputy chairperson of Diepsloot community forum Lefa Nkala said residents are fed up with a lack of police visibility in their community.

“Our people are getting killed. These criminals will take your money, take your cellphone and kill you.

“We are not just dealing with normal criminals here but with people who are in a war against the community of Diepsloot,” said Nkala.

ALSO READ: ‘Incompetent’ Cele ‘must be fired’ for Diepsloot tragedy, say opposition parties

Ramaphosa ‘very stubborn’

Nkala said they have made repeated attempts to speak to Ramaphosa.

“We have been asking the president. I’m sorry to say but it seems we are dealing with a very stubborn somebody here,” he said.

Stalls and shacks burnt

The stalls of vendors were burnt down in the violent protest on Tuesday and other businesses were forced to close down. Burning tyres also blocked some of the roads. The residents claim that criminals hide in the stalls at night.

“Maybe if we can close everything in Diepsloot, including the national road, he will start to listen,” said Nkala.

Diepsloot protest crime hawkers stall burnt
Hawkers in Diepsloot rummage through the remains of their stall after it was burnt by protesters along Ingonyama Street near Diepsloot Secondary School, 20 June 2023. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The residents also torched shacks they alleged belonged to criminals in the area. 

Nkala also said Ramaphosa should focus more on what is happening in South Africa, rather than in Ukraine and Russia. Last week, Ramaphosa was in Ukraine and Russia as part of the African peace delegation.

“We are your people, you are [returning] from Ukraine and Russia… Diepsloot residents are living like people in Ukraine, we are dying day in and day out, it’s enough,” he concluded.

Nkala said Police Minister Bheki Cele and Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi had visited Diepsloot twice before but their actions had little impact.

“Clearly they don’t have the solutions to the problems we are facing as the community of Diepsloot, especially when it comes to crime.”

Additional reporting by Siphumelele Khumalo

ALSO READ: ‘People feel a little safe now’: Visible policing helps to end Diepsloot killings

Read more on these topics

Crime Cyril Ramaphosa Diepsloot

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits