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Criminal activity on Enoch Sontonga has been an issue for Wits University campus control for a while, the recent increase in muggings has prompted action from the university.
It’s a quiet Friday afternoon on Enoch Sontonga Avenue commuters are steadily making their way home from work. Two women are walking, comfortably enough to have an intense conversation between them. As they make way for a man in blue overalls to pass them by, he snatches one of the women’s bags!
Her companion runs into on-coming traffic out of fear and the jogging man continues to run on steadily with his stolen goods. He ducks through a hole in the gate of a park and out of sight. His victim stands still, wide-eyed, her hands over her mouth – bagless. It’s another day on Enoch Sontonga.
The safety issues on Enoch Sontonga, which lies just outside the university campus, have recently been brought to the attention of Wits University due to the mugging of a number of people, students and staff members alike.
Lemy Rantsatsi, a first year student at Wits said she was robbed this year around 12:30 in the day, while she was on her way home. “They just grabbed me and took my stuff and jumped over the wall at the bridge,” she said.
According to Rantsatsi there was no security around at the time and she continues to walk on the road because the taxi fare home is too expensive considering that she stays close by.
Wits University campus control responds
Robert Kemp from Campus Control said that the university had been aware of the dangers of the area for some time now. “We have a patrol on the stretch of road up to the Raikes Road Gate,” he said. The patrol members who are intended to patrol in these places wear black uniforms with blue reflector jackets and can be seen along any of the routes described.
He also said that the university intends to increase patrols in the area and has requested SAPS intervention.
Kemp added, “Students should avoid walking along Enoch Sontonga after dark if possible, motorists should be careful when using this stretch of road, particularly when stationary at traffic lights. Keep doors locked and windows closed and valuables out of site and locked in the boot. Do not use cell phones in public view.”
The road runs along the West Campus entrance of the University as well as the Sturrock Park sports precinct.