A police informant who wanted to fight crime claims he is now living on the streets and fearing for his life after his identity was revealed during a drug raid in Cape Town.
The man told News24 he regretted helping the police after they did little to keep his identity hidden during the raid on a drug den in his neighbourhood in Capricorn, Muizenberg, two months ago.
“I gave the police some information and the police found the goods, but they failed to protect me,” the 22-year-old told News24, looking visibly distressed.
“The police were supposed to have put me inside a car that at least had tinted windows so that people would not see me, but they didn’t. They left me inside a normal car and there was nowhere I could go.”
“I can’t be in Cape Town because the gangsters are looking for me, my life is in danger and it’s because of the police that my life is now in danger.”
‘Now I have nothing’
He said the manner in which the police handled him during and after the incident had left him heartbroken and homeless.
“I thought I was helping the cops but at the end of the day the police ended up disappointing me, after they asked me to trust them.
“They didn’t do what they said they would. My heart is breaking, I stink and I haven’t bathed in days. I have no shoes. I’m just a random person.
“I had everything I wanted back at home, now I have nothing because of those police officers.”
In April, the young man approached police about a drug den in Capricorn which was run by local gang members. Muizenberg police had asked locals to help them target crime.
Three senior officials, whose names are known to News24, were part of the operation.
A senior policeman told him he would do whatever it took to protect him.
Shortly after that, Wynberg police station officers accompanied the man so he could point the drug den out to them.
“After identifying the places, they then got two minibus taxis. The windows were not tinted. They refused for me to get into a car which did have tinted windows when I asked,” he said.
‘So it’s you that’s telling on us?’
The officers left him in the car, without locking it, or leaving someone to watch him.
“Then three gang members came up from behind the taxi and opened the window and said, ‘So it’s you that’s telling on us? We are going to kill you’.”
The man said he alerted officers at the scene that his identity had been exposed and asked if they could leave the area.
“They refused to listen to me. They found the dealer and they found the drugs and then they left.”
Upon their return to the Wynberg police station, he was asked to give a statement and was given R20 for transport home.
“When I got to my place, I saw them at my gate and they started shooting at me.”
He ran away and spent the night at the Wynberg police station.
“That is where I met a senior police officer and explained everything. He told me that I shouldn’t come and make my problems his problems,” the man said.
He slept at the Muizenberg police station from April 13 until May 6, before coming to Johannesburg.
Before leaving the Western Cape, he pleaded for assistance and to be placed into some sort of witness protection programme.
“I asked a senior police officer, and he told me that there was nothing that he could do to help me.”
Two police officers at the Muizenberg police station who sympathised with him. They gave him a bag of old clothes, towels, a bed sheet and R500 for a bus ticket to Johannesburg.
“I met him at the police station. He was there for two weeks, and he didn’t have a place to go. I knew he was homeless,” one of the officers who helped him, told News24 on condition of anonymity.
The officer said he knew the 22-year-old was telling the truth.
“I know his case. He was there and he was hungry and I just had to help him with the little that I had because it was not good seeing him in that state,” the officer said.
Living on the streets of Johannesburg
The man had been living on the streets of Johannesburg for a month and three weeks. He had had no luck getting help from Gauteng police either.
He told News24 that when he arrived in Johannesburg he tried to find a place to sleep at Park Station, but security guards chased him away. After spending his first night on the streets and being robbed of his cellphone, he went to various police stations including central Johannesburg, Honeydew and Hillbrow.
They had all chased him away, told him he could not sleep there and that they could not help him as the case was out of their jurisdiction.
He needed to return to the Western Cape and open a case there, he was told.
The man, a father of a 4-year-old daughter, said he missed his girlfriend (who is currently pregnant), his mother and siblings. They were all in the Western Cape. He was contemplating returning home and facing the threats against him.
“Maybe I should just go back home. I can’t live like this. This is not a good life, I’m not built for this life,” he said.
Western Cape police said the matter was being investigated.
“Kindly be advised that there is an internal investigation into this matter and this office does not want to elaborate on this matter,” Captain Frederick van Wyk said.
By Mpho Raborife[Source: News24]