Pretoria – Angry residents of Gomorrah Informal Settlement took to the streets of Pretoria West marching to Hercules police station demanding equal attention and treatment for their community.
The crowd that held placards and slowed down traffic on the busy Van der Hoff Road as they burst into songs demanding the police station pull up its socks and execute its mandate.
They accused the police station’s officers of over indulging in bribes, corruption and neglecting the impoverished Gomorrah community and focusing on criminals who use money to get away with wrongdoing.
The community said it was about time the Hawks came in to investigate the police station to expose the rot and eliminate all rotten apples who have been using state vehicles to wander around advancing corruption agendas instead of arresting criminals.
Police officers cordoned off the police station to limit their proximity after working with the Tshwane metro police to ensure the crowd stayed within restrictions and regulations of their legal march.
Community leaders Popi Phetla and Boshielo Elmond of Malusi Section 1 said Gomorrah was a safe heaven for criminals who have befriended the police officers and claim to have the money to buy the police.
Elmond said: “We have so many unresolved and unattended cases in Gomorrah and we have come across information that the officers have been accepting bribes to abandon the cases and tear up documents.
“We are here to say enough is enough and we want the Minister of Police Bheki Cele to come here and deal with this police station and get rid of the officers whom we know for working with gangsters from our informal settlement.
“If you go to the police station to complain about crime the corrupt cops will tell the criminals when they drink alcohol together. We have lost confidence in our police.”
Phetla mentioned five police officers they believe have been involved in corruption at the station and working with criminals in Gomorrah for the last couple of years.
She said these officers worked with the very same criminals who were extorting companies in Pretoria West in the name of their community.
Station commander colonel Christina Peta Tsoaedi who joined the station during the pandemic said she was aware the community did not yet know about her arrival but that would change.
“I have received your complaints and grievances through the memorandum and I promise to go through it and investigate these allegations. I shall respond within the seven you have given me,” she said to the crowd.
The group dispersed but promised to come back even stronger if nothing is done and visible policing has not improved.