Residents march against top cop

Hundreds of Joe Slovo residents gathered outside Milnerton police station calling for the brigadier to step down as station commander.

Joe Slovo residents called for the resignation of Milnerton’s police chief, Brigadier Marius Stander, during a march last week. The 300-odd residents who marched to the police station with placards on Thursday said the station commander had done a poor job fighting crime in their neighbourhood and that some police officers from the station were working in cahoots with criminals there.

The marchers handed over a memorandum listing their grievances.

This is not the first time Brigadier Stander and the station have drawn public ire.

Last year, Lianne Lippert quit as chair of the Milnerton Community Police Forum, accusing Brigadier Stander of blocking her efforts as head of the oversight body (“CPF leader quits,” Tabletalk, September 6, 2017).

And in January, two Milnerton SAPS police officers were charged with rape after they performed a cavity search on a man in Sanddrift (“Rape charge against Milnerton cops,” Tabletalk, January 24).

Noxolo Mayeki, of the Joe Slovo Crisis Committee, said: “We know that there are SAPS members working with criminals from Joe Slovo and we can’t have that.

“Last month, a skollie was beaten to death by the community but only two people were arrested. We want those people released because there is no way that SAPS can say those are the people that killed the criminal. Another thing we want is the resignation of Brigadier Stander and Colonel (Lulama)Lurwengu,” she said.

The residents said Brigadier Stander should step down as he had lost the trust of the community. “We don’t want Stander and he is well aware of that,” said Ms Mayeki.

Theresa Thris, who runs daycare in Joe Slovo, said she was fed up with the crime in the area as criminals were becoming more brazen.

“Crime is sky high here. My friend was robbed last Sunday, and she had grant money with her. It was around 9am and I was in church.

“I don’t understand how someone can get robbed in broad daylight. Even if we go report it, it feels like a waste of time because those people won’t do anything,” said Ms Thris.

Milnerton CPF chairman Mark Lindsell said he had seen the memorandum but the forum hadn’t discussed it yet and neither had he spoken to Brigadier Stander about it, although those two things were likely to happen soon.

“Following the unfortunate incident last year of the hall in Joe Slovo being burnt down — which was not an action representative of the vast majority of people protesting at the time — I am very aware that Brigadier Stander has worked tirelessly with senior representatives of the community to try and help/support them in establishing the Joe Slovo Park Development Forum.”

He said Brigadier Stander and Colonel Lurwengu “have not given me or the CPF committee any reason to doubt their integrity in dealing with the residents of Joe Slovo”.

Milnerton police spokeswoman Captain Adriana Chandler confirmed Brigadier Stander had received the memorandum from the residents, but the neither the station nor Brigadier Stander himself responded to questions by the time this edition went to print.