A major step has been taken towards setting a foundation for peace, in the conflict stricken Majola villages of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape.
As an intervention to restore stability to the area, tactical units of the South African Police Service (SAPS) will be deployed to the rural area, which has been riddled by conflict that’s said to date back over six decades.
The conflict has over the years escalated to acts of violence and crime.
Incidents of arson and murder have resulted in the burning down of over 140 homesteads and houses.
Twenty two people have been killed there, in the past three years.
Criminal acts have also displaced scores of families, leaving women and children destitute and many resorting to leaving their homes and seeking refuge in nearby bushes.
The Police Ministry and the management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) led by National Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola on Sunday 30 April 2023, descended on the coastal village to find a multi-pronged conflict and crime resolution.
The Ministerial intervention saw meetings held with affected villagers, community and traditional leadership structures as well as various other stakeholders in the provincial government.
The two-day meetings also attended by Eastern Cape MEC of Community Safety Xolile Nqatha local and district mayors facilitated an integrated service delivery approach, which is supported by a heightened policing intervention.
Police Minister, General Bheki Cele on Monday 1 May 2023, addressed the affected villagers on their crime concerns during a community engagement.
He assured them their complaints are being dealt with, at the highest level and a request to the President to deploy the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to support the SAPS in the area, has been made.
“Majola village cannot be a ‘ghost town’ where villagers are terrorised by thugs and fear for their lives to such an extent that they opt to live in bushes than in their own homes. We will put an end to this, hence we are bringing some of our best men and women to bring stability and peace to this village, as we wait to hear if the army will be deployed or not. So with more boots in the ground, we will go toe- to-toe with these criminals hell-bent on preying on the most vulnerable members of our society.” Cele concluded.
Members of the Tactical Response Teams (TRT) and National Intervention Unit (NIU) will be deployed within the week to affected areas of Majola villages.
This intervention will be accompanied by the deployment of a team of additional detectives, to assist with the police investigations in the area and bring those responsible for the reign of terror on the people of Majola to book.
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