A thorn in the flesh

The state of Mahlakong

LEPHALALE — Who is responsible for controlling access to Mahlakong Informal Settlement near Ellisras District Hospital? With Eskom as land owner, it would be their responsibility.

An incident that occurred last week once again drew attention to Mahlakong and its residents.

Lephalale Police, in collaboration with members of the Lephalale Community Forum (CPF), the Heritage Protection Group (HPG), local security companies as well as members of the public worked together to get 11 illegal immigrants arrested in Mahlakong Informal Settlement (also known as Plastic View) in Onverwacht on Thursday 1 February.

The arrests were made after the above teams followed tracks from Mbabala Lodge where Warren Murray was assaulted and shot in his home. The house robbery and shooting incident happened around 00:30 on Thursday morning 1 February.

His cell phone was tracked to the area near Mahlakong and a member of the public offered the use of his helicopter. According to a member of the search party, people started running away when they heard the helicopter, but 11 suspects were arrested. None of the suspects can however be linked to the incident in which Warren Murray was assaulted and shot.

According to Police, the amount of burglaries the previous week was 18 and it decreased drastically after the arrest of the 11 illegals.

Mogol Post tried to get hold of a contact person from Eskom’s Legal Department in Johannesburg, but she failed to return the calls. The area is Eskom’s property. The community of Onverwacht and surroundings want to get clarity regarding the rapid growth of the informal settlement and the lack of control to the area. It is also seen as the perfect hiding place for criminals as it is centrally located. Members of the public also complained about the terrible state of the fencing that is broken and the littering in the area.

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