Slippery suspect escapes twice from Norkem SAPS within two hours

NORKEM Park Police Station has no holding cells.

THE DA demands adequate policing infrastructure at Norkem Park Police Station after a suspect escaped twice from the station within hours on July 21.

Acting Norkem Park SAPS spokesman W/O Mahlodi Langa confirmed a suspect escaped from the police station around 7pm while officers were doing paper work. “The police searched for the suspect but he managed to get away. A few hours later, around 9pm, the same suspect was busted again, with an accomplice, breaking into a house,” he said.

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They were brought to the station, this time with shackles. This suspect and his accomplice then managed to escape again while police were again completing paper work.

He said normally officers do the paper work first before the suspects would be transported to Kempton Park Police Station.

Norkem Park Police Station has no holding cells, only a small room with a metal ring attached to a floor.

THE two suspects in shackles before they escaped.

DA Deputy Chief Whip in the National Assembly, MP Michael Waters, submitted parliamentary questions to the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, about criminals escaping from custody at the station.

“This situation simply cannot continue. Residents are falling victim to crime in the area. The police must ensure that suspects are kept in custody so that justice can be done. Holding cells are critical to ensuring that those guilty of criminal activities are brought to book,” Waters said in a statement.

“The Norkem station is far too small for the number of people it services. The fact that detectives are based in another building, separate from the rest of the station, only adds to the inefficiency of Norkem Park SAPS,” said Waters.

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development, MPL Refiloe Nt’sekhe, said the station was already in the top 10 worst police precincts in Gauteng and the fact that it had no holding cells resulted in a time-consuming exercise of processing detainees.

“This points to poor planning on the part of both the provincial and national police. According to Gauteng provincial commissioner, Major General Eric Nkuna, the size of the Norkem Park SAPS property is too small for the construction of a cell block. This is like building a vehicle without a necessary feature such as a petrol tank,” she added.

Langa explained that Norkem Park Police Station was supposed to be a satellite station only but because of the demand for policing authorities it ended up as a police station and hence the building is small and there are a number of constraints.

James Mahlokwane
Senior Journalist

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