According to the Community Policing Forum, the shop has been in operation for the past 15 years. The CPF and residents claim that drug runners also operate from the premises, and other stolen goods are sold there. Following police raids on the premises, the criminal activity had continued there.
CPF chairperson Martin Makhasi said people also drank alcohol in public at the chop shop, situated across the road from Liwa Primary School. “The place… affects the learning environment of the learners.”
He said the shop was run by foreign nationals, and CPF members were reluctant to confront them as they feared being labelled as xenophobic.
Speaking anonymously for fear of reprisal, residents and a clergyman at the Methodist Church in the same street as the school backed Makhasi’s views. Liwa Primary school principal Fundi Nodlela acknowledged the problem, but refused to speak to the media.
Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the department had appealed to City law enforcement officers to address the matter.
The department, in collaboration with Dimension Data, was installing a security system at the school as part of pilot project. The system “includes camera surveillance and monitoring, perimeter intrusion protection, alarms and biometric readers at designated entrances in the school to ensure safe access control”.