Spin City ‘kept crime at bay’

A car spinner entertains the crowd with his skills at Real Zone Spin City in Extension 28, Vosloorus before the venue was closed down.

Malaza spoke to Kathorus MAIL on Wednesday, February 28 after the body of a man was found dumped in the veld and a stolen vehicle was recovered four metres away from where the body was found.

The two incidents were reported to the police by community members living near the open veld on the night before.

“This is the worst crime to happen since we were forced to shut down,” Malaza said. “I wonder what more crime is yet to happen here?”

He said before they cleaned up the veld area and turned it into Real Zone Spin City, it was a crime hot-spot. “People were killed here and children who were passing by to a nearby school were robbed of their cellphones. It was not safe to cross the then abandoned bush at night. But we managed to clean and make it a safe place for the community to come and watch spinning cars, five-a-side soccer tournaments, gogos football matches and ladies soccer tournaments.

“But the police took all that away from the community in December last year as they gave us an order to remove all our belongings from the place. Ever since then it has returned to be a crime hot-spot as it used to be, as now we are no longer there to monitor it.”

What makes it even more painful, Malaza said, is that no letter was shown to them before they were ordered to leave the place. “But because the order came from the police we had to work with them and obey their instructions, as much as we were hurting.

“But look now, immediately after we stopped using the place, this has happened. If the police did not stop us from using this place, none of this would have happened because we had a good management plan of this place.”

Malaza added that none of the people who issued the order were affected by the crimes once more taking place in the area. “Our brothers are killed and dumped here and our sisters are raped here. Innocent people from our own community are mugged, killed and dumped here. Yet people from the city have the nerve to come from safe towns and tell us here to stop doing something that keeps our community safe.”

Malaza said he is glad that Isaac Bangilizwe, the customer relations manager from the Vosloorus Customer Care Centre, is busy helping them with compliance. “Maybe very soon we will be granted permission to use the place and the police will stop harassing us.”

Bangilizwe confirmed that he is assisting Malaza with compliance so that his venue can operate legally.

“The process of application is ongoing,” Bangilizwe said. “But I can also confirm that they have been operating there illegally. The police found out about it and decided to shut the place down. I hope their application will be approved and they will be granted permission to use the place legally. But I cannot guarantee what will happen. Maybe the municipality will take the place under it and lease it to them. What the decision is going to be is beyond my control.”

Vosloorus SAPS communications officer, Capt Piet Rossouw, dismissed Malaza’s claims, saying there were good reasons why the venue was closed down.

“First thing, the car spinning that was happening there was illegal and the spinners were non-professionals,” Rossouw said. “The worst part is that there were no paramedics or ambulances to offer urgent medical assistant should anything happen to the spinners or community members.”

He said as the Vosloorus SAPS they had the community’s safety at heart. “That is why we had to close the place.”

He said other activities like five-a-side soccer events and any other sports codes that were taking place there could continue to take place. “Except for the car spinning,” said Rossouw.

Aaron Damane

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