Brits Municipality accused of manslaughter

Brits Municipality accused of Manslaughter?

Brits Municipality accused of Manslaughter?

These quasi-Zimbabwean-Mozambican illegal immigrant gangs pose a threat to Brits; they murder, rape, and plunder private property terrorising innocent people. These militant-style thugs hanging around the Rooikoppies Dam informal settlement near Kameeldrift are capable of anything.

The ‘Little Zimbabwe’ residents as they are called, are accused of robbing a large number of community members in the district. The incidents happen concurrently while people including farmworkers, and general workers leave their transport vehicles. Farmers are also brutally targeted in the area. It is evident that the Local Municipality of Madibeng further supports and allows these on-going atrocities by awarding them with services such as water supply instead of removing them and allocates proper sections.

The municipality is not following the proper procedures, they are not applying the rule of law in the matter to resolve this. The matter was referred to the Minister of Public Works, who in turn, turned a blind eye and ignored the whole situation. The minister has taken no action; there are not enough officers to police the area. Assen police station is staffed by only nine officers who have had to face the challenge of servicing the area against these gangs. It is outrageous and unacceptable towards the community. Late last year, the minister of police visited the area for a routine evaluation and discovered the area lacked SAP staff and such facilities. He promised to provide such service. Those people are very dangerous using stolen weaponry on innocent people. They have stolen semi-automatic guns, clothes, cellphones, money, and jewellery. Brutal farm killings have also escalated.They wait on road sides to rob and kill workers and travelling citizens. They have even gone as far as to use explosives such as dynamite and hand grenades to gain entry and attack and plunder occupants. They have transformed the area into a ‘Zimbabwean war zone’ figuratively. People fear leaving their homes. A month ago, these criminals had entered a house, found a man and requested him to give them money, the man refused to do so saying that he does not have any money, they therefore tortured him by burning him with a hot iron.

They are tormenting people through the rule of anarchy. The municipality has abandoned the area. Criminals are advantaged by crime. People are scared to go to work, no one wants to visit the area because of how disorganised the place is. These blood-thirsty criminals are causing havoc from Atlanta to Geluk, unto Losperfontein by plunder. The place is surrounded by thousands without legal citizenship. The farmers in Sanddrift, Kameeldrift, and Roodekopjes are unable to farm as a result of farm attacks and workers whose lives are in dire danger. According to an official letter from the minister’s office, these people were supposed to have been removed long ago. The letter dated 23 May, 2012 indicates that the mayor requested the National Department of Public Works to transfer Portions 454 and 455 of Farm Kameeldrift 211 JQ to upgrade the informal settlement and formalise the area.

The department has not yet reached a final decision on the optimum use of the land. The Department had a consultative meeting with various stakeholders, including the Madibeng Local Municipality, the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs, the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and other Non-Government Stakeholders. The abovementioned department and stakeholders were consulted on 1 June 2012 with a view to a final decision. The Department is also in the process of consulting the Department of Human Settlements and the Housing Development Agency.

The DA’s MP Basson had originally inquired as to the status of this urgent and crucial matter. Some stakeholders are of the opinion the government should be held responsible for allegedly ‘facilitating’ mass manslaughter because of evident delay and tardiness of response regarding action. After the Madibeng Times directed these concerns to the DA in writing, they promptly responded. “You are welcome to lay charges against the government and in particular the Minister of Public works who is the custodian of state land,” commented Basson.

Basson also replied that the mentioned land resolution, according to the minister does not exist and that the mayor has no mandate or delegated powers to request land from government. He confirmed that the squatters on the property are illegal and the responsible party is the Department of Public Works. Also, no impact study has been done, yet the Human Sciences Research Council’s (HSRC) Research Impact Assessment (RIA) department usually communicates such studies funded by their parliamentary grant. The DA also emphasises that the municipality is not in a financial position to deliver services. Basson also stated that the Rooikopjes Dam is allocated for agricultural use and not for residential consumption as per the minister of Water and Sanitation. To end it all off he concludes that the same minister does not support the view that the property should be used as a residence. “As far as the killing of people and farmers we regret it and are fighting every day in Parliament that more SAPD members be appointed in South Africa. The issue of the Assen SAPD, I personally discussed this with the Cluster Commander Brig. Johan Marx at the end of last year. Be so kind and direct the blame to the government that created this problem. You have the Democratic Alliance’s full support in doing so,” he insisted. “We will continue to play an active role to protect the Constitution of this country and all who lives in it,” he concluded.

Land use options include formalising the request from the executive mayor for the development of a human settlement for land reform purposes such as land redistribution. It was further said in the response, the Department expects to conclude its decision on the optimum use of the land by 30 June, 2015 as informed by the consultative processes. The given deadline has been far missed. Acting Spokesperson for the Madibeng Municipality, Tumelo Tshabalala, confirmed that the land in question belongs to the Department of Public Works. “The municipality cannot formalise any settlement if they are not owners of the land,” he responded.

There is a request made by the municipality to the Department of Public Works to release the land to the municipality in the view of human settlement and this is a process that has stages to go through and is currently ongoing. There are currently 886 households altogether,” he concluded.

However, two suspects, Simbarashe Mapie (34) and Sebastian Tambwe (29), appeared in the Brits Magistrate’s Court following a case of armed robbery and attempted murder that took place on 24 January, 2016. The matter is postponed to 28 February, 2016 for further investigation. The community calls upon all representing parties to evacuate the area, deporting illegal and misdemeanant immigrants and upgrading the district as originally understood to have been planned. Accordingly, the municipality should apply the rule of law.