Mitchells Plain community members are voicing strong concerns following another firearms scandal at the local police station. The outcry was palpable as residents gathered outside the Mitchells Plain Police Station, demanding accountability and transparency from the authorities.
Community’s Call for Action
In a display of collective unease, the Cape Flats Safety Forum, supported by local residents, convened at the police station seeking answers. The urgency of their demands was fueled by recent revelations that the station had become the source of missing firearms.
Alarming Theft of Firearms
The spotlight turned to this precinct when it was discovered that 15 firearms and eight imitation weapons, all linked to criminal activities, had been surreptitiously removed from the station’s SAP-13 storeroom in November. This alarming incident led to the arrest and subsequent dismissal of a 30-year-old police officer from the Mitchells Plain unit.
This is not the station’s first incident of firearm theft. In 2017, the disappearance of 14 guns led to the suspension and later reinstatement of then-station leader Brigadier Cass Goolam and five members of his management team. A recent arrest on 8 January of an alleged gang member, in possession of a firearm from the 2017 theft, adds a disturbing layer to this narrative.
Community Leaders Demand Thorough Investigation
Abie Isaacs, chairperson of the Cape Flats Safety Forum and former chairperson of the Mitchells Plain Community Police Forum (CPF), highlighted the need for a comprehensive investigation.
“We cannot have a situation where firearms are continuously stolen and there is no real probe around the issues,”
Isaacs also expressed concern over the alleged silence of current station commander Brigadier Jan Alexander regarding the incident, despite a visit from authorities in December. The forum has submitted a memorandum to Alexander, demanding the suspension of the senior management team without pay.
Local Response to the Incident
While Alexander acknowledged the memorandum, he refrained from commenting. Calls for action extended to disbanding the current CPF, conducting lifestyle audits of all officers, and reinstating Goolam and his team.
Norman Jantjies, chairperson of the CPF, expressed the group’s unawareness of the missing firearms, saying,
“We heard in the corridors about the missing guns. We never knew about it. We are disappointed in the station management.”
Beacon Valley resident and pastor Dean Ramjoomia raised concerns about the circulation of these weapons in the Cape Flats. A member of the Hard Livings gang was recently apprehended with a police firearm linked to the 2017 theft at the Mitchells Plain station. Ramjoomia’s words underscore the gravity of the situation:
“The new batch is already in circulation, which is very perturbed in terms of the chain of distribution,”
The community’s agitation reflects a deep-seated need for reliable law enforcement and accountability in the face of recurring security breaches. The unfolding situation at Mitchells Plain Police Station remains a focal point of concern, demanding swift and transparent action from the authorities.