This series of stories, first published by the Sunday Tribune in 2012, exposed Durban city officials’ habit of turning a blind eye to an increasingly nasty crime situation developing in the inner city, with even police not daring to venture onto a piece of public land, dubbed Whoonga Park. It took two weeks to get responses from city officials to our students’ work on this story. When response was given, it confirmed just how bad the situation had become. While Roving Reporters’ exposé prompted a clean-up of the area – the once neat, grassy patch of public land is now fenced off – Whoonga Park still exists in a more dispersed state under the M4 flyover with adjacent railway tracks still serving as an escape route for smash-and-grab thugs who prey on unsuspecting motorists.
The Whoonga Park expose formed part of Roving Reporters’ 2012 investigative journalism training project supported by the Taco Kuiper Trust, the Open Society Foundation and the Durban University of Technology.
The students who conducted this investigation under supervision of Roving Reporters director, Fred Kockott, were Nosipho Mngoma, Anathi Teyise and Ndabe Mthembu.