Cops rope in Dalton hostel, taxi groups to push out vagrants

Metro Police officers are expected to be deployed to the City’s crime hot spots. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Metro Police officers are expected to be deployed to the City’s crime hot spots. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Published Nov 22, 2023


Durban — In an attempt to deal with criminal activities allegedly committed by homeless vagrants living under the M4 south highway bridge, eThekwini Metro Police said it would rope in nearby Dalton hostel dwellers, taxi associations and other stakeholders affected by the presence of vagrants in the area.

Metro police head Sibonelo Mchunu had told the Daily News that despite the fact that he had assigned two police officers and a van to be static in the area, the Metro police management under his command was busy devising a plan to engage other affected stakeholders to deal with the problem once and for all. Mchunu also said he plans to talk to Durban University of Technology, the Ward 32 councillor as well as private security companies working in the area.

Reacting to the call, Mthembeni Thusi, who is chairperson of Ubunye bamahostela Movement but lives in Dalton, said they welcome the call but would wait for the Metro police to give more details on what role the hostel dwellers would have to play, adding that they were also affected by the vagrants who steal their belongings.

There have been many calls on the City and police to remove the vagrants living under the M4 bridge, who are mainly drug addicts roaming the area terrorising motorists.

The Daily News has featured many articles in relation to the attacks on motorists by the vagrants. There have also been a lot of complaints from DUT students who have been robbed of their cellphones and other belongings while to and from classes.

On Tuesday the paper also reported that a KwaZulu-Natal government official Nomusa Phungula survived a hijacking in the same area on Sunday.

Phungula, a communications officer for provincial legislature Speaker Nontembeko Boyce, was attacked by two men who first smashed her car windows and then demanded the car keys.

Narrating her ordeal, Phungula said she was entering the city from the M4 highway from Port Shepstone at about 5pm.

She said she stopped at the traffic light just before joining Pixley kaSeme Street (West Street) but a minute later she heard a big bang and realised her car windows were being smashed. She said she found herself surrounded by two men who demanded cellphones and the car keys.

Phungula said there was a scuffle between them (she and a friend) and the men as they were trying to protect their belongings, including the car keys, from the criminals.

They were saved by two gentlemen who were driving behind them – who stopped and chased the thugs away. Police told Phungula that many criminal cases were reported with a similar modus operandi in that vicinity.

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Daily News