Watch feud still unresolved

Zoo Park Neighbourhood Watch secretary Lesley Ashton said: "We hear of incidents but people know that making cases goes nowhere and dont realise their responsibility to report.

A several-month-long feud between two Kraaifontein neighbourhood watches remains unresolved despite peacemaking efforts by superiors.

The Kraaifontein Community Police Forum has tried without success to get the two watches to bury the hatchet (“Watches in turf feud,” Northern News, May 5).

In October Zoo Park Neighbourhood Watch chairman Gerald Visser will go to court to hear whether his application for a protection order against Windsor Park chairwoman Anita Krouse has been successful.

Zoo Park patrollers claim members from the neighbouring Windsor Park watch harass and intimidate them. They also allege that Windsor Park patrollers assault and kidnap homeless people who loiter in the area but none of these allegations have been reported to police.

Zoo Park secretary Lesley Ashton said: “We hear of incidents but people know that making cases goes nowhere and don’t realise their responsibility to report.”

But Ms Krouse denies the allegations.

“There are all these stories going around but if there was something going on I would have known about it,” she said.

Initially the two watches operated as one, but later Zoo Park split from Windsor Park. Patrollers from Windsor Park, however, still patrol in Zoo Park, to the annoyance of Zoo Park members.

According to Ewald Botha, spokesman for Community Safety MEC Dan Plato, the department could only mediate with accredited neighbourhood watches.

“Therefore we only met with Zoo Park as they are accredited,” he said.

“Zoo Park Neighbourhood Watch informed us that they are being intimidated and harassed by the Windsor Park Neighbourhood Watch members.”

Mr Visser, in an email to the Northern News earlier this year, described this alleged harassment and intimidation as “hooting, flashing lights, tailgating and peering over fence walls”.

Mr Botha said: “As far as I know, no mediation between the two structures has taken place from the neighbourhood watch division’s side.”

He added that Windsor Park had not applied for accreditation in terms of the Western Cape Community Safety Act, although a watch is not obliged to do so.

Advocate Jerome Norris, the assistant director of neighbourhood watch accreditation for the department, said: “The application for the accreditation of a neighbourhood watch structure is entirely voluntary.”

Kraaifontein CPF chairman Ma-
wethu Sila, said the forum regarded the two watches as one and added that their feuding had caused the sub-forum executive for Sector 5 to resign.

The watches would have fallen under the authority of the Sector 5 sub-forum but it had been without an executive for more than a
month.

Ms Ashton said: “No elective
AGM has been called for Sector 5 to account or elect a new executive committee.”

Mr Sila confirmed that, saying the CPF had been in negotiations with the executive to ask them to take their positions back.

Ms Ashton added: “The last SAPS sector sub-forum general meeting was on June 14. The Last SAPS Sector 5 sub-forum AGM was held on February 12.”