Police raid on #Alexandra Wednesday morning uncovers little

Categories Journalism
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Members of the South African police, along with units of Tactical Response Team and Bomb Disposal, entered the Alexandra Men’s Hostel around midnight Wednesday morning.

SANDF soldiers and armoured cars were stationed close to the hostel, while the police walked through and searched rooms. SAPS spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza explained that the purpose of the raid was to uncover illegal firearms.

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Some residents were asked to vacate the rooms. Although visibly perplexed by the raid, there were no instances of backlash.

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inside hostel room

One officer was overheard saying, “the criminals are here”, but only two crates of beer were brought out by the end of the raid. Later reports said that one arrest was made.

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#Jeppestown raid targeted ‘criminal elements’ of xenophobic attacks

Categories Journalism

The raid on Jeppestown Men’s Hostel Tuesday night was about the ‘criminal elements’ from the xenophobic attacks in the area. 11 suspects were arrested.

SAPS provinicial spokesperson Lt Kay Makhubela explained that the police seized stolen goods, ‘believed to may have’ come from lootings.

Reports have also mentioned large amounts of dagga received.

SANDF spokesperson Xolani Mabanga wouldn’t comment on who carried out or led the raid, saying only that ‘the military is in support of the SAPS’.

Makhubela clarified that the police moved in, while the military secured the perimeter: ‘Military backs up while police do their job.’

Further questioning to Lt Makhubela didn’t establish direct links betwern the raid and the overall violence against non-South Africans. When asked if raid was legal and the police had a court order: “… The police have the right to enter premises, when they see an immediate threat, for a raid without a search warrant. ”

There were related reports Tuesday that journalists were forced by police to delete photos taken around the hostel. Makhubela declined to confirm whether orders were given to officers to do so. He added that it’s not ‘illegal’ for journos and photographers to take photos as part of their jobs. He invited affected members of the press to open a case against the offending officer.

Some government uptake from TomTom data and insights

Categories Journalism

The TomTom Traffic Index released earlier this month reveals insight about congestion and traffic patterns in South Africa.

Cape Town, in 55th position on the global index, remains the most congested city in the country, with morning commutes adding up to 72% to commuting time. Johannesburg listed at 77 fares only slightly better, with morning travel adding up to 59% to commuting time.

‘The data suggest that coastal cities are more congested,’ explained Carey Dodd, Marketing Manager for TomTom Consumer in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa, at a recent roundtable discussion of the index.

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Pretoria, East London, Durban, and Bloemfontein don’t appear on the rankings because their inner central business districts (CBD) don’t meet the criterion of having a population larger than 800,000.

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Jaap Schaapherder, TomTom Africa Key Account Manager, mentioned that the cities of Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Tshwane are redesigning roads based on the congestion data from TomTom. The extent of this use will be the subject of further stories.

Etienne Louw, TomTom Africa General Manager, stated that there are 700,000km of roads in South Africa and 9 million overall in Africa. The company boasts that the quality of their maps is ‘better than competitors’ and is able to send out map updates to 400 million GPS units within 2 minutes through its network.

Louw did state that SANRAL is using TomTom data for road design and to alleviate congestion, but that the company is not consulted on policy at the roads agency.

When asked if TomTom’s traffic data has been used by RTMC to understand trends in road accidents, Louw would not comment on why RTMC hasn’t used the data. He cited that there was a ‘long selling cycle’.

Deep in South Africa has contacted the RTMC for confirmation and comment.