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Diepsloot community feel crime complaints falling on deaf ears - SAHRC

8 April 2022

The South African Human Rights Commission says the residents of crime-ridden Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg feel neglected by the police.

The commission visited Diepsloot on Thursday and Friday amid this week’s violence and protests in the area.

Clashes between local residents and foreign nations have once again shone the spotlight on the issue of illegal immigration.

The violence also led to the death of Zimbabwean national Elvis Nyathi, who was stoned and burned to death by a mob looking for foreign nationals in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Nyathi's death increased the tension between South Africans and foreign nationals in the area, with fears of possible xenophobic attacks.

Acting provincial manager for the Human Rights Commission in Gauteng, Zamantungwa Mbeki, says the community felt their complaints to authorities about crime in the area were falling on deaf ears.

“We had engagements with the community regarding that. What we heard from the people we spoke about is that there had been seven people who were killed in a space of a couple of weeks in Diepsloot. The community believed that the person who had conducted these murders was a person of Zimbabwean origin.

“Because of that and the lack of police intervention then caused this flare up and shutdown. The way that this was put is the police’s ability to respond to community needs. The community raise their concerns saying they are fearful that the murders are taking place in our community and there is a lack of intervention from the police ie we don’t see investigations taking place we are not seeing people getting arrested.

“But those who are arrested come out after a few days. That is going to cause distrust and tension in the community. That then flares up an additional issue of xenophobic attacks and that people feel that the crime is being caused by a particular group of people. At the centre of this is how police adequately intervene when there are incidents of crime in the community.”

Since Nyathi's death, police have increased their visibility on their ground by adding more forces in an attempt to quell the tension in Diepsloot.

Source: Jacaranda FM

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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