Money changers who operate in the vicinity of the Tredgold Magistrate’s court have returned to their area barely 24 hours after being chucked out of the place.
Yesterday, the illegal money changers, locally known as Osiphatheleni, had running battles with law enforcement agents following an outcry by Chief Justice Malaba that their operations were disturbing the piece of the courts.
About 150 dealers were arrested in the blitz.
This paper visited the area late the same evening and the money changers were going about their business as usual.
The Tenacity post had a chat with some of them and they said they were unmoved by the raid and will continue operating from that area.
“Im not going anywhere ,this is the best spot in town ,so I’m ready to go in and out of jail and run all day for me to operate in this place,” said one, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Another money changer said: “there is nothing new about this. They (the police) will do this for a short time and then leave us alone .So for now I’m willing to take the risk because this is my only job.”
Others accused the police and other “powerful” individuals for being behind the rot.
“We have back up from high ranking police officers and other powerful people .This is their money not , its nt ours so they are the ones who will make the losses. Right now the police seem to be serious but this will have no impact at all and will be over soon,” said a money changer who also refused to be named for fear of victimization.
Efforts to get a comment from the police were fruitless.
Powerful politicians, Government and banking officials have in the past been fingered in fueling the black market and supporting the activities of osiphatheleni.
Chief Justice Malaba was quoted as having said the money changers were wreaking havoc, before demanding action from authorities.
“We hope those activities in the environs or surroundings of Tredgold Buildings that are not wholesome must be stopped and I don’t think we should have a compromise on that.”
This is not the first time the police have raided the area to try and bring sanity.
Last year, police arrested scores of illegal money changers and cordoned the area in a bid to bring order.