The police station serving Zwelitsha Township outside King William’s Town is suffering from a shortage of police vehicles, which is making it difficult to apprehend criminals. In addition, the police station is often overcrowded, with police lacking proper resources to effectively tackle crime.
Zwelitsha resident Thembela Ndlumbini said that after being robbed recently, he went to report the incident to the police.
“I arrived there [at the station] and found it overcrowded inside the charge office. Some of the people there were panicking because they had waited more than three hours,” Ndlumbini said.
“After opening the case, the police told me there were no vans and that I had to wait because other community members were are also waiting for police vans.”
A van was finally made available after two hours and the suspects were eventually apprehended.
Other residents from around King William’s town have noted similar problems due to with the lack of SAPS resources.
“Our government must organise enough a lot of vans at in all police stations of the Eastern Cape. It is a real fact that there is a shortage of vans and the police are unable to do their important daily work,” Zwelitsha resident Nomthandazo Vezani said.
Ginsberg resident Luthando Ningwa said: “The main problem with some departments in this country is that they must buy vans instead being corrupt.
“We are all tax payers,” Ningwa said.
Nosipho Mange, of Zwelitsha, said every each police station should have at least 20 vans each because of the high rate of crime.
“The national government must take full consideration about this regular problem at in our police stations. The provincial office top official and MECs of police and other departments must wake up and put the matter in budget because as communities we are sick and tired about the empty promises.
“As residents of the Eastern Cape, these are some of the things we are supposed to sort out before we finish more than 20 years of democracy,” she said.
Provincial spokesperson Capt Sibongile Soci and police spokesperson Capt Siphokazi Mawisa had not responded to questions at the time of going to print.