By BO Staff Writer
The following statement was first published on the Black First Land First website and is now reissued by Black Opinion:
Yesterday 26 March, the community of Orange Farm led by Black First Land First (BLF) undertook a march to the local police station where they handed over a memorandum. Amongst their main demands is for the Station Commander, Brigadier General Ndaba, to be removed from office within the next 7 days due to the fact that she is not a fit and proper person to hold such a post. An end to police brutality, forced removals, corruption and the targeting of BLF leaders are the other core demands. Here below is the full memorandum which has also been transmitted to the Minister of Police Mr Bheki Cele and the Head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Mr Robert McBride:
Memorandum of the Orange Farm Extension 10 Community to the Station Commander of the Orange Farm Police Station to stop police brutality, facilitating illegal evictions, targeting Cde Zuma and corruption
We note that Cde Sibonelo Zuma, who is executing the revolutionary mandate of leading our people out of landlessness and homelessness into participating in the creation and development of their own dignified community in Orange Farm, is now facing trumped-up criminal charges. We are not surprised. These charges are instigated by the police who want to remove our people from the Orange Farm informal settlement in extension 10. It is also supported by certain opposition forces who want to benefit from the community via corruption.
We know also that our leader Cde Zuma is not guilty. We have no trust in the South African justice system as it is founded on laws which are basically anti-black. We also acknowledge that even in their own racist courts, the false charges against our leader shall not hold. The charges serve to hide the white crimes against our people. As the Orange Farm community we are addressing the historical crime of land theft that has left our people landless. We are also addressing the police brutality that our people are subjected to via removals that are implemented by the police together with private security serves.
The Orange Farm Community notes that the police are deliberately corrupt in service of WMC so as to escalate crime and violence in black communities. WMC has succeeded in bribing key personnel in police stations to not service black communities and to systematically criminalize influential pro RET community leaders.
The Station Commander of the Orange Farm Police Station, Brigadier General Ndaba, and her Second in Charge (2iC), Col Ndwandwe, are conducting themselves like apartheid era commanders of the Police Services who worked hand in glove with the military, politicians, economists, government officials and intelligence operatives so as to maintain and perpetuate anti black state rule. These apartheid era interests continue to consolidate white supremacy which in the economic sphere finds practical expression as white monopoly capital (WMC). Their plan is to regain the political power they lost to blacks in 1994. The removal of the pro Radical Economic Transformation (RET) former President Jacob Zuma and his replacement by the puppet of WMC, Cyril Ramaphosa, is in furtherance of that plan. More specifically the plan to reclaim political power by WMC interests includes the following:
a) Identification of political leaders, who are pro RET so as to isolate and eliminate them if they can’t be contaminated and manipulated; and
b) destabilization of the country via the escalation of crime which in turn involves the police neglecting complaints of real crime.
It is in this this context that pro RET political leaders, mainly Black First Land First leaders such as Cde Zuma, have become the target of the Ramaphosa regime’s police who are evidently in dereliction of their duties and manifestly corrupt. Furthermore we note that the political agenda of the Ramaphosa regime and that of the Democratic Alliance (DA) are the same – they are both pro WMC and based on the “New Deal”. In this context we know that all the illegal evictions in Orange Farm are planned by the Mayor of Johannesburg, DA’s Herman Mashaba. Our community protests in this regard has been met with brute force with the approval of Mashaba. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is complicit in the anti black crimes of the DA since it gave political power to the DA. We call on the EFF to withdraw its support of the DA until all evictions are stopped.
BLF leadership experienced the unprofessional conduct of the police first hand on 10 March this year when they visited the Orange Farm Police Station. Having denied police bail to Cde Zuma due to the trumped-up charges he was facing, various attempts to get him released via the next level of authority, being the Prosecutor on call, were in vain.
The investigating officer (IO) who was dealing with charges against Cde Zuma was not contactable. Various pleas by BLF President, Andile Mngxitama, to Col Ndwandwe to deploy a police officer to go to the IO’s residence and establish contact, were also in vain. The police, including Col Ndwandwe, were uncooperative in that they did not try everything to get hold of the IO and Brig Gen Ndaba.
Furthermore Col Ndwandwe as the Acting Station Commander made little effort to assist BLF when we asked him to contact the Prosecutor on call and his superior Brigadier General Ndaba (who was not at the police station) so as to secure the release of Cde Zuma on bail. Comrade Zuma’s docket was evidently not in the station, it was said to be with the Brig Gen. When the BLF President subsequently tried on several occasions to contact the Brigadier General telephonically so as to facilitate Cde Zuma’s release from police custody she did not answer her phone. We are not surprised that the Brigadier General had kept Cde Zuma’s docket in her personal possession and she was not contactable to obtain the said docket for the purpose securing bail. The Brigadier General has been very hostile to the Orange Farm community leaders in the past when they tried to seek her assistance regarding the refusal of the police to charge any person committing crimes in the Orange Farm area.
It must also be stated that during the same occasion we witnessed one of the police officers refusing to open a case when a woman came in to report that her shack in Orange Farm was dismantled and stolen. This refusal by the police was despite the fact the complainant brought the perpetrator, who admitted having committed the said theft, with her to the police station. When the matter was brought to the attention of the Acting Station Commander he ostensibly instructed a police officer to open the case. The docket in relation to this case has reportedly since gone missing.
This is extremely concerning and further supports the claim that the police are corrupt at the Orange Farm Police Station. The names of the complainant and the perpetrator will not be published on this statement but will be given to the Station Commander upon delivery of this memorandum for further action.
We are indeed appalled by the Orange Farm SAPS’s manipulation of the current legislation (Section 48 of the Criminal Procedure Act and Section 35(1)(d) of the Bill of Rights). The said legislation provides for an arrested person to be brought before a court of law within 48 hours of being arrested and that such period of time is applicable only to ordinary court days and hours which in turn does not include weekends and public holidays in its calculation. To this end Cde Zuma is frequently arrested, as was the case on the last occasion, late on a Thursday afternoon so that it allows the SAPS to hold him in custody until the following Monday – when the 48 hour period expires – before bringing him to court. This amounts to an abuse of their (SAPS) power and violates the fundamental rights of Cde Zuma to liberty.
Usually while Cde Zuma is in police custody (as was the case during his last detention) the police come to Orange Farm and cowardly unleash their brutality and terror on the innocent residents in an attempt to evict them from land that we are legitimately residing on.
Cde Zuma has been representing our interests on various levels including on the level of the Municipality whenever it was necessary to do so. We will continue to engage the Municipality with our demands so as to formalize the informal settlement and to ensure the provision of service delivery relating to land ownership, decent housing, electricity, clean water etc. We shall not stop until all our legitimate demands are met and Orange Farm is upgraded to a formal decent area of living. In this context the anti black interventions of the police via its brutality on the community through forced removals and its targeting of the community leader, Cde Zuma, is unlawful and against the interests of the smooth administration of justice.
As the concerned residents we acknowledge that the racist conditions we live under manifest as crimes such as assault, theft, murder, drug trafficking etc. We intend to address the root causes of these crimes so as to create conditions that are conducive for human habitation. To this end we acknowledge that this can only be done with the assistance and understanding of the SAPS.
We believe that the Orange Farm Police Station needs a change of leadership – the current Station Commander is not a fit a proper person to occupy that post. We are indeed saddened by the state of affairs and the lack of leadership at the said Police Station. Brigadier General Ndaba has allowed the Police Station, through her dereliction of duties, to cause the escalation of crime rather than addressing and lessening it. We therefore call for her removal from the Orange Farm Police Station within the next 7 days and for her ultimate expulsion from the SAPS.
We ask that the Orange Farm Police Station pledges its loyalty and service directly to the people of the Orange Farm Informal Settlement and to create the necessary conditions that will allow for our development as a community so that we can begin to live under crime free conditions.
We say that mutual respect between the SAPS and the people is key to realizing peace and stability in our community. We therefore require your commitment to engage with us to determine our policing needs so as to ensure that the policing services which are provided to us, responds to our real needs.
We ask the SAPS to not at any point shoot at or harm innocent people protesting against the State’s lack of (or poor) delivery of public services.
We demand that you build and promote an efficient police service system that ensures the real and legal dignity and equality of all members of our community! We ask for an approach to policing that would have the desired effect of instilling dignity and pride in our people.
We call for an end to our people being held hostage by police brutality, illegal evictions, targeting of community leaders such as Cde Zuma, and corruption!
Should the issues raised herein not be addressed urgently, we shall escalate our struggle to the next higher level. This memorandum will also be forwarded to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Minister of Police for further action.
Delivered by the Orange Farm, Extension 10 Community on Monday, 26 March 2018
Orange Farm Extension 10 Community
Chairperson: Sibonelo Zomakahle Zuma
Email address: [email protected]
Cell number: 0794794518
Email: [email protected]
Cell no: 0631073163