Police and community are at loggerheads over park

The SAPS and the municipality are in disagreement regarding the situation at the Ehmke Street park, across from The Village Shopping Centre.

Meanwhile residents are getting fed up. The park has been under discussion by the community due to the illegal parties and littering happening there over weekends.

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Rubbish in the stream adjacent to the park.

“Some of the people have made temporary structures there, and there are chickens that wake me up every morning.”

Municipality spokesman, Joseph Ngala said they have been attempting to resolve the issue.

“We put wooden poles around the park to try and prevent people from driving their vehicles to the area. However, I hear they are now removing them to get their cars inside. We have people cleaning up the litter after every weekend, but they keep messing up the park again. At the moment our next strategy should be to put in steel poles to prevent this from happening.”

He said the by-law inspectorates have the power to arrest someone for public drinking and other possible illegal activities.

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“But our inspectors are not armed, so they need the assistance of the police to make arrests.”

Police spokesman, Capt Dawie Pretorius said the police were not there to throw people out of parks.

“The municipality must fence the park so people cannot drive their vehicles into it. By parking in the park, police cannot see whether or not they are drinking alcohol there.”

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Ngala responded by saying building a fence would contravene the essence of a public park. “This is not the solution. The municipality and police have to work together to sort out the problem,” he concluded.

Tereasa Dias

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