A Mitchells Plain top cop says crime-fighters at Town Centre Mall are doing more harm than good.
Brigadier Cass Goolam made the comments during an interview with Daily Voice, after our photographer was nearly robbed of his camera at the notorious mall last week.
The head of Mitchells Plain Police Station het min ooghare for stallholders Jasmine Harris, Salama Petersen and Shirely Hamit, who have been leading crime-fighting at the centre for months, trying to get rid of drug dealers and other criminals.
The women say crime is keeping customers away, while criminals also target them.
The Daily Voice was called out to the centre last Monday to report on an armed robbery at a Chinese shop over the weekend.
Two men tried to rob photographer, Ayanda Ndamane, but he fought back and managed to get his camera back.
The duo were later arrested on a charge of robbery.
But Goolam says he can’t support the “vigilante actions” of Harris and the women, and accused them of having “politicial agendas”.
“These persons, they attack because they do not know how to engage with police and they become aggressive and expect the police to act and attack outside the law,” he says.
“I follow investigations, not stories that will take us nowhere.
“People like Harris, she was standing for elections and she must now build a profile.”
Jasmine is a member of Congress of the People (Cope) and ran as a councillor during local government elections last month.
Goolam says despite the crime-fighters’ claims that police aren’t making arrests, “the facts speak for themselves”.
“Two weeks ago we arrested a suspect in Town Centre with 146 units of heroin, this was a drug dealer.”
He also said some traders pointed out by Harris as drug outlets were legitimate, but admits there are problems with stolen goods being sold.
Harris did not want to comment on Goolam’s statements yesterday, but indicated they would be meeting with him this week.