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Judicial CP - August 1996
Cape Times, Cape Town, 27 August 1996
"Police have tea with drug lord" after caller complains
CAPE TOWN has responded with hundreds of calls to Crime Line since we began our Bid Against Crime two weeks ago. Readers, it is clear, are sick and tired of crime and are behind us in our campaign. Today we bring you a bumper edition of Crimeline where our readers have their say and, where appropriate, comment from the police.
Mr Duffy Abrahams, Crawford: "A week before Christmas three youths came into a shop, they blasted someone in the business and killed him just to take R100. The youths were all apprehended. We were faithfully promised by those investigating the case that they had the culprits, but certain people who saw the event were afraid to testify in court for fear of their lives. Because of that, the same guys are walking up and down in front of the same business. The nation should withhold their tax, put it in a trust account and tell the authorities that they will pay it when there is peace."
Mr Dawood Essop, Athlone:
"I have been battling with the police for seven years because there are drug lords living next door to me. I went to the police in Caledon Square, to a Sergeant Van Schalkwyk. He said there was nothing he could do there, but he took my statement and said he would send it to Wynberg. They phoned me to get the address and have raided the place 101 times, but made no arrests. If I phone Athlone police, they come, have a cup of tea at No 7 where the drug lord lives and even tell him who phoned."
Mr Daniel Rass, Mitchells Plain: "Now that the police have subpoenaed the press to hand over tapes and photographs, they can also subpoena the drug lords to hand over their wares. But then again, they can't because they don't know where the drug lords are."
Mrs Kathleen Coetzee, Parow: "I moved into a new house in April. We'd been in the house for two days when my son's outside room was burgled. Later in the same week, our house was burgled. I am so sick and tired of this. We want to give our children freedom, but with what is happening on the streets we can't do so. We aren't safe anywhere."
Mr Christopher Jones, Bishop Lavis: "On Thursday night I worked until 7pm at City Park hospital. I boarded the train that left shortly afterwards for Bishop Lavis from Cape Town. At Lavistown station, there was a group of gangsters on the platform. One ran past me, walked a short distance over the parking area, stood and waited until we came nearer (I was with other people). One was carrying a dagger about 30cm long and told me I must stand still. So I went to the security people on the premises of John Ramsay High School and they said I should stand with them. The gangsters left when they saw Casspirs ride past. We are the victims who are attacked when we come back from work. I would have been stabbed had it not been for the security guards."
Mr Jeffrey Heath, Kenilworth: "I was stabbed in the kidneys on a Metro train two years ago. The experience was quite disturbing as it happened in a first class coach on a Saturday afternoon. I wasn't rushed off to hospital. Their excuse was that an off-duty nurse was attending to me. They took me all the way to Fish Hoek because that is where the False Bay hospital is. Metro must provide a safer service."
Mrs Dee Armondville, Athlone: "In reply to Mr Harold Booysen (Friday's Crime Line): I think he must be naive. He actually believes Pagad went to an innocent man's house instead of that belonging to an alleged drug dealer and that the man there was bewildered. That was fear all over his face, not bewilderment. I know those people and they are drug dealers. Keep up the good work, Pagad. I am a Christian, but this is not only a Muslim issue."
Mrs Ruth Smith, Mouille Point: "About two months ago I caught a vagrant red-handed trying to get into my flat. Because I live right opposite the police station, I managed to get her into a police van and they took her into a holding cell. When I went across to lay a charge, the officer said: 'And what do you expect me to do about it lady?' They are in today and out tomorrow. My neighbour's flat was burgled and a window was broken although we are opposite the station, nobody heard or saw a thing. If the police can't do the job and tell people there is nothing they can do, they must not draw a salary and the police force should be dismantled."
Mrs Ashley Logon, Atlantis: "I have just read in the Cape Times about a man called Kapdi who received 17 years for murder, but he served only five. This is no good. People who murder, rape and deal in drugs should serve their full sentence without parole."
Miss Wendy Laubscher, Melkbosstrand: "The death penalty should be reinstated because there is so much murder. People know they can get away with murder because there is no death penalty. There should be stricter sentences and they shouldn't even get parole. We can be more lenient on petty offenders such as shoplifters."
Mrs Pandora Reinecke, Kalk Bay: "In the last six weeks my daughter's friend was stabbed at Muizenberg station at 8.30am, a friend of mine had her necklace snatched from her at 11.30am in a street near Cavendish Square and my daughter, who had to work late, was accosted by somebody at Wynberg station. She managed to get away by being equally aggressive. Those are just three incidences for one person in a short time. The crime rate is very high and all available money should be spent on fighting it, not on an Olympic bid or on unnecessary overseas trips for President Nelson Mandela."
Mr Mogamat Salie, Vals River: "I am disgusted with the coverage you gave to the 'Phantom'. In Friday's picture he has two guns. These are criminal offences. It is a sorry state of affairs when you have hypocrites such as Ali Parker representing Pagad. Islam does not stand for this type of nonsense."
Mr Achmad Suker, Woodstock: "I am a member of Pagad. People are worried about tourists being scared away from the country. What about us? We are South African citizens and we live here. The problem lies with the police. The SAPS should back off. Pagad has the guts to do the job and they do not. I want the Justice and Safety and Security Ministers to employ Pagad as lawkeepers so that we can sort out this whole issue. To the boys in blue: Is the money the merchants are paying you really worth selling your souls for?"
Mr Mogamat Bullok, Cape Town: "I work in a hospital. There are Rastafarians on the corner of Long Street who are selling drugs every day, yet nothing has been done. One is too scared to go to the shop nearby. They sell to everyone. The police patrols pass and ignore them as they go about their 'business'."
Mr Ted Moore, Bothasig: "I don't think the death penalty will be a deterrent. The man that committed the crime does not suffer, he is put out painlessly. I suggest that they bring back the cat o' nine tails or the cane and sentence the culprit to 20 to 24 lashes in instalments. It could work like this: this week he would get four lashes, then wait for another four days before he gets another four, and so on. Can you imagine what he would feel like before half the sentence is completed? Then he will be set free and he will tell all his pals: 'This is one thing you keep away from'."
Miss Ingrid Koeckies, Claremont: "Last Thursday night somebody knocked on my front door about 8.30pm and claimed to be a TV licence inspector. I told him that I don't have a TV and then he wanted to take a look. I refused to let him come in without identification. Then he got very rude and told me that if I didn't let him in, he would make me do so. Twenty minutes later he returned with two policemen and a search warrant to look for a TV! And of course there wasn't one. People get killed and yet they send two cops for this. I had a big burglary two years ago and then it took them 2½ hours to get to me."
Mrs A Daniels, Hanover Park: "I have been a community worker for the past 10 years and I know what has been done by communities and organisations to try to get the authorities' attention about gangsterism and crime. We've had no positive response ever. Also, the death sentence has never been a deterrent for crime and we, as a religious country, regard the death sentence as some sort of revenge. I do have empathy with the families of victims and do not condone crime and gangsterism. I feel the death sentence is too easy a punishment. These perpetrators should be made to suffer as their victims suffered, with hard labour, and so on. Also, do not blame the Justice and Safety and Security ministers as they make the laws, but are not responsible for implementing them. The people on the ground, the police, magistrates and so on should be disciplined and monitored with regard to how they implement the laws."
Mrs Surve, Rylands Estate: "We went to see Les Miserables and there was not a single homeless person in sight outside the theatre. The area had obviously been cleared of homeless people. Why not do the same at the City Hall and other venues in town and people will flock back to these venues? Can the police please respond to this?"
Mr T Moore, Bothasig: "Regarding the reinstatement of corporal punishment and doing it in phases, I wish to quote Judge Lesley Blackwell: 'As we were leaving the prison, I heard wails of agony coming from the ordinary prison next door, and stopped and asked what it was. Oh, said the superintendent, that is one of the men you sentenced today receiving the strokes which you awarded him. I stopped with a sense of shock to ask myself whether our system of corporal punishment is really justified, but I had to answer almost immediately. Yes, it unfortunately cannot be dispensed with. The man I heard might have been the prisoner who caused the death of his wife by kicking her repeatedly in the head with a booted foot, or the hulking savage who raped and ill-treated a little girl of 10. No, unpleasant as it is, a judge in South Africa does not perform his duty if he does not impose corporal punishment in the case of crimes where savagery and brutality are a feature. The permissible number of strokes under the Act is 25 and, in the old days, this number actually used to be administered sometimes in two or three instalments, except in such cases of exceptional brutality when we go as far as 10. Lord Goddard, Chief Justice of England, publicly regretted the abolition of corporal punishment in England'."
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