Elderly people doing police work

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By Dimakatso Modipa

Some elderly people of Hammanskral in Mandela village section, Refilwe section, Portion 12 section and Zone 1 section risk their lives in a bid to reduce crime

The elderly people of Hammanskral are fed up with the crime in their area are now volunteering as community patrollers.

Region 2 elderly people in Mandela village section, Refilwe section, Portion 12 section and Zone 1 section in Hammanskraal, Tshwane risk their lives in a bid to reduce crime.

The elderly patrol the area at night and the early hours of the morning on a daily basis.

The chairman of patrollers Phakoe Mokoena told Tshwane Talks that the patrolling team started at Mandela village section early in February after they notice the level of crime going up in the area.

There were reports of rape, house robbery, mugging and assault. “We could not fold our arms and watch as criminals control our daily lives”. We decided to stand up and act by forming a patrolling team to combat criminals”, he says.

There were over a hundred elderly men and women when they started patrolling but the number has gone down because there is no payment for doing this job.

“We are elders, but we make thugs run and pee in their pants. We make sure our presence is felt whenever we meet the criminals. We do this for the love our community and we are tired of crime in our area,” Mokoena said.

Mokoena says they used to experience problems every time they called the police to the area. “We were told all kinds of excuses that there are no vehicles or there is only one police van at the station. That’s why we decided to act and protect our community”.

The elderly are volunteering their services for free and don’t have a stipend. They only rely on households that contribute R30 for the patrollers to buy things they need like reflectors, radio, sjambok and others equipment needed to patrol.

“We are happy with what we are doing, and we are doing it for the love of our community, and we want to see our community safe and happy all the time,” he said.

Coordinator of patrollers Paul Moedi said they don’t carry weapons when they patrol, and their only weapon is sjambok. Since they started other areas like Refilwe, Zone 1, Portion 12 also formed their own patrolling teams and started to join them.

“We patrol by the grace of the Lord, and he is the one protecting us. We don’t have a guarantee that we will come back home alive when we leave our homes because we meet challenges on the streets,” Moedi said.

He said when they patrol, they don’t use guns but only sjambok and while patrolling they caught lots of criminals and they hand them to the police.

They patrollers are divided into two shifts. The morning shifts is at 2am to 6:30am and night shifts start at 8:30 pm to 2am. They also do other work besides patrolling like helping out at funerals to cook, clean and control the traffic.

They also patrol at shopping malls, and they accompany employed people to the bus station when they go to work to during the night when they return home.

“We want to have a good working relationship with our police, and we want to work hand in hand with them,” he said.

Moedi further says they have challenges of solving other crimes that are currently on the rise Currently the crime like phone snatching. He says thugs uses cars to flee the scene after snatching pedestrians’ phones.

Even the elderly are not spared during SASSA grants days they are robbed of their money at ATM by scammers. Shoppers are also robbed off their groceries at the mall.

“We thank our community for the support they are giving us and for believing that we shall win fight against crime,” he said.

Moedi concludes by saying that the elderly are pleading for donations to buy uniform and any form of donation will be welcomed.

if anyone want to donate to the patrollers can contact the chairman of patrollers Phakoe Mokoena on 0766455222

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