Nefarious acts that are a common sight in most of the intersection in the City’s streets must come to an end. This was a stern warning issued by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and its political head, Sello Lemao, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety.
Speaking at the JMPD’ s headquarters in Martindale, west of Johannesburg flanked by his department’s head honchos. Lemao said, a special operation called KE MOLAO (Its law) has been set up to deal with city’s identified hotspots in byways and highways.
“Over the few months we have witnessed a disturbing trend marked by a sharp increase in illegal activities around certain main traffic intersections in our city. These include smash and grabs, window washing, selling of goods and vending and begging. These activities are not only illegal according to both the national traffic and criminal legislation but also illegal in respect of our city’s bylaws. The continued and unchecked prevalence of these activities has turned our motorists into sitting targets for theft, assault, robbery and harassment whilst waiting for traffic signals, getting onto onramps and even on the freeways during traffic jams.”
Lemao also highlighted that a march to a safer city has begun.
“This lawlessness must seize forthwith and we warn all those criminals and those who use our intersections in violation of the law that we are very determined to end this lawlessness. We will persist with our operations until our motorist are safe and freed from fear they currently experience when approaching these intersections. We have deployed some of our best units with this operation and we will monitor them closely as they discharge their duties”. Pressed to explain about the manpower needed for this operation.
He said, “We will also be working our sister organisations, the SAPS and the Gauteng Provincial Traffic Department as well as private security companies who have volunteered to assist us as we rid our City of this scourge. Furthermore, we have secured the kind assistance of both the Provincial and the City’s Departments of Social/Community Development to assist us handle cases of vagrants and those in desperate need of social welfare. This we have done because we are mindful that some of those found in intersections are drawn there by extreme desperation and poverty. However, even as we say this, the law must be enforced”.
Zwelibanzi Nyanda, JMPD head,indicated that there will never be enough manpower to address such problems. “Joburg is a big city with many intersections. That’s why we have identified certain routes and intersections. Going forward we will use the unit to pinpoint other troublesome junctions.” He also confessed that the unit can never be everywhere all the time.