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.
Stalls are set alight along Ingonyama Street by angry Diepsloot, 20 June 2023. Many shop owners were forced to close their businesses during the violent protest against crime. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
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.
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.
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