Thuli Madonsela meets with Glebelands residents

Public protector wants to work with police to fight crime in area

Public protector visits notorious Glebelands

22 December 2015

Durban – Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Monday conducted two in-loco inspections in Durban where she visited the infamous Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi and the Kennedy Road Informal Settlement in Clare Estate.

Madonsela made the visit to Glebelands after being approached by the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA).

The Association brought the matter to her attention in light of violence that had "engulfed the hostel" over the last two years.

It is believed more than 50 people have been killed at the hostel this year alone. CLEA expressed unhappiness over the alleged inaction of the state and police.

At the hostel, Madonsela met with frustrated residents, who said they lived in fear.

One woman told Madonsela that her 45-year-old brother and father were shot and killed in June. “It is a hard life here and we are always afraid,” she said.

Another woman detailed how her father was shot and killed as he was leaving for work in November.

Living conditions were also raised as a concern.

Commenting on the area Madonsela said, “Some people flatly refused to speak to us. It was clear that they were not angry with us because they waved. They said anyone who is seen to have said something is putting their lives in danger. We appeal to the police to protect those that spoke to us.”

Meeting security cluster

At Kennedy Road, Madonsela inspected the living conditions of dwellers in the settlement. This follows media reports of 700 tiny temporary houses were built with a price tag of R31 million.

During the visit a number of irate residents lamented the lack of basic facilities. From illegal connections to criminal elements, people called on Madonsela to initiate change in the area.

One resident, Jabu Khumalo, told News24 residents were being ignored.

“These homes they are giving us are not right. You can see and smell what is happening here. We want this woman (Madonsela) to make life better and put away the people stealing from our community,” he said.

The Public Protector will share her observations, along with the CLEA complaint, at a meeting with the provincial security cluster being held at her Durban offices on Tuesday.

Working jointly with the cluster, she hoped to map a way forward to deal with the alleged police and government inaction on the killings and in investigating the crimes.

This article first appeared on News24 – see here