Illegal occupants evicted in police raids

Capt Logan Naidoo and Col Mfanano Majola from Pietermaritzburg Public Order Police during the raid at the Durban Central building.

JUST days after 115 people, including police officers, were arrested in a raid of the police living quarters at Durban Central, police raided the notorious Excelsior Court on Peter Mokaba Road at 2am on Monday and arrested 26 people, five of whom were police officials.

“The police officers searched every room in the building and arrested 26 trespassers. Twenty-one of those arrested were not police officials and could not provide a reasonable explanation for being on the premises. All arrested suspects were charged with trespassing and were served with a R300 admission of guilt fine. Police also discovered 250g of heroin with an estimated street value of over R40,000 as well as 84 counterfeit DVDs. These items were found abandoned with nobody to account for them,” said Brigadier Jay Naicker.

The early morning raids were undertaken by Public Order Police, the K9 Unit, Special Task Force and Tactical Response team as instructed by acting Provincial Commission of KZN Lt Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

On Friday, the raid on Durban Central police living quarters netted 115 people found to be living in the building illegally. “Some were police officers who should not have been in the building. They were charged with trespassing and fined R300. A further two dockets of corruption were opened after police established that some people were renting out rooms in the buildings to other occupants,” said Brigadier Jay Naicker.

The raids come after concerns were raised by Member of Parliament and Shadow Deputy Minister of Police, Dianne Kohler Barnard, at a Parliamentary Police portfolio committee recently.

ALSO READ: Parliament Committee discusses issues surrounding Excelsior Court

The issue was first raised with Kohler Barnard when she carried the Public Works portfolio but together with councillor Chris Pappas, they set out to tackle the problem. A month ago, Kohler Barnard met with residents in Oakleigh Park who were affected by ongoing issues at Excelsior Court.

“When Dianne was moved back to the police portfolio I asked her to assist because Provincial SAPS were blatantly ignoring us. Dianne raised the issue with senior generals and the director of the SAPS just over a month ago. Her pressure has shown results. Lt Col Xulu from Mayville SAPS was struggling to cope with this case because it involved other police officers over which he had no control but he none the less did what he could to help,” said Pappas.

“It is never nice to celebrate people being evicted from their places of residence especially at 2.30am, however, we must uphold the rule of law and restore order to our city and country. If this involves evicting illegal occupants then this must happen. I am pleased that our patience and efforts are yielding results and I hope that this is not the last intervention by SAPS in the matter of police flats in the city that have become slums and places of criminality.”


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  AUTHOR
Lauren Walford
Journalist

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