55 arrests at Mascani settlement

Woodstock police swooped on the Mascani informal settlement in Railway Street, in the early hours of Thursday February 18, arresting 55 people, mostly on trespassing charges.

The joint operation, involved private security firms, Woodstock Improvement District (WID), the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA ), the railway police and members of the SAPS Cape Town Cluster.

The settlement is on a piece of land next to the railway line, which is owned by Prasa.

Woodstock police spokesman Sergeant Hilton Malila said the operation had been held to remove everyone found on the land, following complaints from nearby businesses and residents about drug dealing and prostitution happening there at all hours.

The police arrested 13 illegal immigrants as well as 21 women and 21 men for trespassing.

They all appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday February 19 and were released with a stern warning to stay away from the premises.

“We want to reassure the businesses and communities that we will make the area safer and conducive for all the visitors and residents of Woodstock,” Sergeant Malila said.