City in plan to root out park criminals

City in plan to root out park criminals

A partnership is to be immediately initiated among safety and security stakeholders to root out criminal elements at all the City of Johannesburg's recreational facilities, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau said in a statement on Monday October 19.

The statement was issued shortly after an urgent mayoral committee meeting convened by Mayor Tau following the brutal murder of two men and the rape of a woman at Rhodes Park in Kensington at the weekend. The men and a woman were part of a group of two couples accosted by a gang of 12 at the park on the Saturday evening. The second woman managed to escape and sought help.

On Monday the mayoral committee called for a collaborative security plan to be immediately activated at Rhodes Park.

On behalf of the committee, Cllr Tau expressed regret at the loss of life during the attack and conveyed his condolences to the families who lost their loved ones. The City has also established contact with the families to offer assistance. He said the plan to root out criminals would not only be applied at Rhodes Park but also at all the City's recreational facilities.

“This will see increased visibility of safety officials at parks, which will be supported by weekly collaborative meetings,” Mayor Tau further said.

A patrol roster is already being developed by stakeholders, which include park rangers and members of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, South African Police Service and the local and private policing forums.

Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo, which falls under the City's Department of Community Development, will also beef up its campaign to create public awareness on park safety, operating hours and their general safety status.