IT is truly scary to hear there is gang activity in our small town that the police are not willing to address or are even complicit in.
Station Hill has been in the news before for drug busts and related crime, and alleged drug lords have appeared in court repeatedly only to have the cases go nowhere.
If one “big man” disappears from the scene, another one takes his place.
For some time now, a local resident has been complaining to us about gangsterism in Station Hill and the inability or unwillingness of the police to address it.
She felt some gangsters were being protected by the police, and even named names, but we can’t mention them without a formal complaint against the officers involved.
And therein lies another dilemma – the resident is afraid to approach the police for fear she herself will be targeted.
An example of the kind of gang violence she was talking about came to light when a man was attacked by several men wielding a panga and knives in Wharf Street early in March.
We first got a tip-off about the incident, but zero police response to our questions.
With little to go on, we held the story. Then the sister of the alleged victim came to the TotT office to tell us what happened. Her story was backed up by actual security camera footage of the incident, which TotT has seen.
Often the assailant will even pre-empt the victim laying a charge by going to the police first and relating a fictional account
The victim was admitted to hospital for treatment and then opened a case with the police.
But the man and his sister were stunned when police showed up at their house and arrested him for assault!
This is a common modus operandi of not only gangsters, but anyone who wants to deflect blame and use the police for their own ends. Often the assailant will even pre-empt the victim laying a charge by going to the police first and relating a fictional account to have a case opened against the victim.
I can personally attest to having experienced this when 10 years ago, in one of my first assignments as a reporter at Talk of the Town, I was assaulted and had my camera damaged by a taxi boss and his henchmen after I took photos of them washing their vehicles at the Beach Road braai area.
When I went to the police station I found my assailant already at the charge office, opening an assault case against me. The prosecutor declined to prosecute either case. Perhaps it was the “safe” thing to do.
Let justice be done in this case.
– Jon Houzet