CROSS MASHONA BRIDGE AT YOUR OWN RISK
By: Nqobile Msomi and Philile Buthelezi
Mashona Bridge runs from Brook road to Williams’s road.
Notorious for the people that live in it, who are street “woonga” kids, because they mainly hung out at the bridge and smoke woonga there.
They are known in town by almost everybody who crosses that bridge in the mornings and afternoons, on their way to work and school.
The street kids are famous for robbing pedestrians especially students.
One of the shop owners around the bridge by the name of Lolly Mahupyhue, said that he opened his shop over three years ago. Mahupyhue sells cool drinks, magwinyas and kotas to
students, workers and flat residences near his shop.
Scelo Gagi, who works at Lolly’s Shop said that the woonga boys are a problem and they always hung out by the entrance of the store, rarely buying anything.
Other shop owners had the same challenges in the area especially the Albert Park, market and surrounding areas .Most of the shop owners refused to talk about the issue of crime.
Students said that crime is an ongoing problem and that it’s getting worse all the time.
Nicole Logna, who gets picked up from school said, “I know of a few people that have been attacked, personally I think it’s more because they know that we are students and always have
our cell phones with us.
Around us, there are taxi ranks and the market is right across the road and there are lots of beggars hanging around, I also think the cops should pay more attention
to our campus and the surrounding areas.
They should make it a better place for everybody.”
“People are also being targeted more if they are of a different race,” remarks Kristen Ndlovu who gets taken to and from school by her parents.
“I find crime in the area bad, especially if you are not a black person because they target people that look different or scared. I don’t really think that a lot is being done to target the
I know there are a lot of roadblocks. That is for traffic fines not for tsotsi type of crimes.
So I think it can be better in that way. I have personally not been affected by crime nor do I know anyone who has been,” added Ndlovu.
Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said, “The crimes reported in the area are mostly assaults and common robbery.”
When asked who the perpetrators were, Zwane said “Some of them are the street kids that live around the hostels. Businesses are mainly targeted and shoplifted (by these kids) along
with students, when they are walking from res going to varsity in the mornings or walking home in the afternoons, they get robbed.”
Zwane added, “Police patrol around peak hours such as in the mornings or afternoons, depending when they get called out. They patrol in civvies so that they can catch the