Police ministry visits conflict-ridden Kwa-Majola

Minister of Police General Bheki Cele.

The Kwa-Majola area in Port St. Johns is notorious for occurrences including burning homes and killing of people, which forced residents to flee their homes and live in the bush like animals out of fear for their lives. The police minister and the leadership of the South African Police Service (SAPS) visited the war-torn Kwa-Majola settlements.

General Bheki Cele, the minister of police, has officially announced that soldiers will be stationed in the region to bring calm and provide security in the wake of these unfortunate occurrences.

Together with Xolile Nqatha, the MEC for Transport and Community Safety in the Eastern Cape, Cele spoke on Monday of this week in Port St. Johns.

The most recent tragic incident included two pupils from Majali Technical High School in Siqhozameni village in Port St. Johns, Lukhanyo Mboza (22) and Lwakhe Maya (20), who were shot and killed moments after leaving the residences of their peers two weeks ago.

This visit lasted two days and concluded on Monday of this week. Cele told the residents of that area that stability would exist as a Task Team would be dispatched and the police would receive assistance.

“Majola village cannot be a ‘ghost town’ where villagers are terrorised by thugs and fear for their lives to such an extent that they opt to live in bushes than in their own homes.

“We will put an end to this, hence we are bringing some of our best men and women to bring stability and peace to this village, as we wait to hear if the army will be deployed or not. So, with more boots in the ground, we will go toe- to-toe with these criminals hell-bent on preying on the most vulnerable members of our society.” Cele stated.

Over 50 homesteads and 97 houses were set ablaze in recent arson and murder incidents that occurred in the villages. Numerous families, including children, were also left hungry, homeless, and in fear for their lives as a result of the crimes. There have been 22 fatalities there in the previous three years, according to a statement from Lirandzu Themba, a spokesperson for the police ministry.

Speaking to the reporters after the meeting, a resident who was present said that although intervention has been made to stop the violence for a long time, nothing has changed. They are hoping that when the army arrive, at least, something will change.