They were only introduced in 2009, yet they have made headlines over every single township in South Africa. At first we thought they were here to protect us, but now we fear them more than robbers or criminals.
They call themselves T.R.T. (Technical Response Team), but in our communities they are called amaBerete because of their headgear. People thought that they were police officers that enforce the law, but today they are seen as vicious military people trained to abuse everyone they come across.
AmaBerete only made their appearance in Diepsloot late in 2011 , but every single night since then they have stopped movement in the streets of the township. They also have limited residents from going to parties at night or to taverns. No people except the brave ones walk freely during the night because they know that the amaBerete will stop you and either beat you up or emotionally abuse you.
We all are aware that South Africa is known for high crime volume, but what has changed since these people were introduced is that people are living in fear and are being physically abused. No one can report them because they are above all laws that are in the constitution. The amaBerete raid parties heavily armed and search with intention to cause damage so that you can be provoked and say something; then they can assault you.
I’ve witnessed a lot of things done by the amaBerete but had no power to act against them. I stood watching as they beat up my friend for no reason and I was shaking through the night thinking about it. Unfortunately I still feel threatened whenever I see them because I never forgot what they did to my friend. If South Africans were supposed to be free, amaBerete has brought back the apartheid lifestyle for everyone in the townships.