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Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

 

Johannesburg Zoo

 

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MEDIA STATEMENT
19 October 2015

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) is working closely with local and regional policing structures to enable the SAPS to speedily apprehend the perpetrators of a heinous crime committed at Rhodes Park in Kensington, Johannesburg. On Saturday, 17 October 2015, two couples were accosted and robbed, resulting in the death of two men.

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo would like to extend its condolences to the family and the victims of this sad and senseless crime, and would like to assure residents that we are putting in place added measures to ensure the safety of visitors to the park.

Bulumko Nelana, the MD of JCPZ, called an urgent meeting on Sunday at Rhodes Park with relevant policing structures and City Parks and Zoo operations teams, to explore bolstering the current safety and operations plan for the facility. He appealed to the relevant stakeholders to collaborate and support community-based policing to reduce crime in our communities and to eliminate the possibility of any similar tragedy from re-occurring in public spaces.

A further meeting to enable a more coordinated approach to visible policing for Rhodes Park was held on Monday, 19 October at the Cleveland Police Station.

Concerns raised included after-hours visitors to the park, with the problem further compounded by ongoing acts of vandalism to lighting, fencing and access points, and inadequate safety measures to combat the criminal element in the facility.

The meeting also identified an urgent need to educate residents on the importance of reporting threats and contraventions that occur in Rhodes Park to the SAPS, as many incidents are not reported.

The Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development, Councillor Chris Vondo, the Chairperson of the JCPZ Board, Board Members and the MD of JCPZ Bulumko Nelana visited the site to lay wreaths for the deceased as well as visited the home of the Johannesburg-based victim.

As a city, it has become critical that we fight against vandalism, vagrancy and all other elements that threaten our security and interrupt our goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle in safe and secure public open spaces. Key in this fight is the standardising of our parks with sufficient lighting, fencing that cannot be vandalised or stolen for financial gain, and gates that can be locked at the times stipulated by the bylaws of these parks.

We appeal to communities and businesses to partner with the city in our quest to increase safety, eradicate vandalism and improve the quality of life in our parks. Park-users are requested to comply with the City's bylaws and to please exercise the necessary caution in public open spaces.

In a bid to reclaim their space and in solidarity with the victims affected by this horrendous incident, the community of Kensington is holding a walk in Rhodes Park on Wednesday, 21 October at 16h30 to 17h30.

Safety concerns can be reported to jcp@jhbcityparks.com or to the JMPD after-hours on 011 375-5911 or to the local SAPS on 10111.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Bulumko Nelana
MD of Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

For media enquiries contact:

Jenny Moodley
Spokesperson: Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo
082 803 0748
011 712 6615
jmoodley@jhbcityparks.com