Damaged holding cells at Koster Police Station paves way for 12 detainees to escape

Issued by Freddy Sonakile MPL – DA North West Spokesperson on Community Safety and Transport
03 Aug 2020 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Find attached soundbites in English and Setswana by DA North West Spokesperson on Community Safety and Transport, Freddy Sonakile.

Following the recent escape of 12 detainees from the Koster Police Station in North West, the Democratic Alliance (DA) submitted questions to the Department of Community Safety and Transport on the capacity of this station to deal with crime, to which they conceded that the station was not up to standard to serve and protect the Koster community.

In its report presented to the North West Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety, the Department indicated that the six holding cells have been damaged by detainees in 2017 and that only one cell remained functional. The report further alleged that several requests to the Provincial SAPS and Department of Public Works and Roads to repair the cells, fell on deaf ears.

Due to overcrowding, the management of the station took it upon themselves to repair the cells, but unfortunately the poor workmanship allowed for the 12 detainees to easily break through the wall.

The SAPS succeeded in re-arresting 10 of the 12 detainees and the search for the other 2 continues.

The Koster Police Station is one out of many rural stations that is losing the fight against crime due to a lack of resources.

The DA will, through the Section 100(1)(b) intervention into the Departments of Community Safety and Transport and Public Works and Roads, compel the Administrators to urgently bring the issue of Koster Police Station to the Ministers within the security cluster for funding to be sought to address the challenges.