Residents urged to be vigilant at all times

A white bakkie and its occupants is apparently making Lwandle and Nomzamo residents think twice before heading to work in the morning.

It is believed the four unknown men are driving around in the white Ford Bantam, waiting for residents to leave for work before breaking into their homes.

Zuko Sikhafungana (27) of Greenfields was almost a victim last Wednesday (15 August). He said he saw the men breaking into his mother’s house when they assumed no-one was on the premises.

“I usually go to school, but I was at home,” he said. “They first knocked on my room door before going across to my mother’s house.”

Sikhafungana didn’t open for the men, whom he didn’t recognise, and just remained quiet as they went about their spree. He told City Vision the men took out hammers and broke open the security gate.

“I started opening the door and they ran away,” said Sikhafungana, who chased the men, but could not see their faces. He remembers the vehicle they were driving.

“This is disturbing,” another frustrated resident said. “We can’t leave our houses to go to work because of these criminals.”

Four streets away from Sikhafungana’s home the men allegedly broke into another house and stole a fridge. “We thought the fridge was being taken for repairs because it was a bakkie, and the men didn’t cover their faces,” a resident said.

City Vision heard from residents that this has been occurring for some time. Sikhafungana urged residents to unite and combat crime in their area. “We need to stop isolating ourselves from each other and tell our neighbours if we’re going away,” he says.

Lwandle police’s Sergeant Mthokozisi Gama said there has been a decrease in burglaries in Lwandle. “This can be attributed to patrols in the mornings by police administration personnel, intense operations conducted and arrests of the suspects involved in burglaries,” he said. “Lwandle police cannot forget the efforts of the community who have been our eyes and ears, and have taken a stand to curb such robberies by patrolling the streets.”

Gama also urged the community to be vigilant at all times, ensuring that they always close windows and doors when they are away from their homes. They should also install burglar gates and bars on doors and windows, and secure their yards with high walls and steel gates.

The installation of alarms and cameras, and the use of armed response security, and forming neighbourhood watches will help curb such incidents.

No cases have been opened with the police on these latest incidents.