POPCRU calls for calm in Bloemhof

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has noted with concern the civil unrest taking place in Bloemhof, North West where 3 houses belonging to members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) were burnt to ashes last night.

It is alleged that last night at around 10pm, a group of armed community members went to the Bloemhof Police Station, demanding the release of some community members who had been arrested for assaulting a suspected criminal. This then turned into a violent protest which led to the police station being torched, resulting in an altercation between these people and the police.

Soon after that, the very people resolved to go torch 3 houses belonging to 3 detectives of the SAPS, and as speculated, we are made to believe that there are plans afoot to torch more houses belonging to police officers.

It is understood that this altercation is on the basis of this group of people taking the law into their hands by assaulting people they believe committed crimes in the area, clearly demonstrating that these perpetrators have not been willing to work with police in combating criminal activities.

We appeal to community members not to take the law into their hands, condemn these unjust acts and want to call for calm and dialogue in the community of Bloemhof. We would like to express that it is only through good working relations between police and communities that we can make our communities a better place to live in, and no amount of attacks against each other can bring about any peaceful resolutions.

We call upon the SAPS, community leaders and the relevant government officials to speedily attend to this regrettable eventuality which should never find expression in our neighbourhoods.

Issued by POPCRU on 21/02/2019