Police Minister Fikile Mbalula recently visited Cape York building a abandoned and hijacked building in the johannesburg CBD at the Cnr of Jeppe and Nugget Sheet.
The police minister got a first-hand view of some of Johannesburg’s hi-jacked buildings and illegal settlements. While he was on the prowl for criminal activity, he acknowledged those living in these buildings, need a hand up.
Mbalula said his office will meet with Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba to discuss solutions. He says while he sympathises with people who live in these spaces, it’s often also home to crime dens. “I came from there, I mean… it is bad. It’s terrible and we need to do something, and we are going to do something about it,” he told media.
“The general has spoken about Cape York building several times, we need to speak to the City of Johannesburg.” Cape York building is owned by Jamal Ibrahim, an Ethiopian businessman whose interests are in the property business, according to municipal records he purchased the building in 2014 for an estimated R9.2 million. Ibrahim has always insisted his intention was to turn it into a profitable residential and retail space. However, he said his charge had been stalled by the ‘non-assistance’ of the South African government in the matter. Speaking during the Ministers visit, Station Commander for the Johannesburg Central Cluster police, Brigadier Ivan Perumal said a crime-combating operation on the building was necessary.
“Cape York is responsible for a number of robberies that have been taking place within the vicinity. Our intelligence is telling us that criminals seek refuge inside this building after committing robberies,” said Perumal. “An operation was arranged from early on in the morning, during which time we managed to get four cases of dealing in drugs and one for stolen property.”
The City of Johannesburg’s Group Forensic and Investigations Services spokesperson, Lucky Sindane said onus was on the City to assist owners of abandoned buildings in taking back their properties. In addition, he said one of the City’s key priorities is an urban revitalisation in the inner city.
“Engagements with various stakeholders in terms of investing the inner city is an ongoing process. To the owners whose buildings have been hijacked, we ask that they give us the necessary details, and in conjunction with other stakeholders, we will assist them in winning back their buildings,” said Sindane. The Minister urged the inner city community to join hands with police to fight the scourge of crime and thanked property owners who have invested heavily in high tech technologies to keep the Inner city residents safe he acknowledged them as partners in the fight against crime. — @Moses_Moyo