21 September 2017

South Africa: WC Commissioner's 'Absence Conspicuous' As Gang War Rages - ANC, Popcru

Western Cape provincial police commissioner Khombinkosi Jula is "conspicuous by his absence" in dealing with gang violence and the theft of police weapons in Cape Town, the provincial ANC and Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said on Thursday.

"There is no clear plan of action or strategy to address the gang violence as well as theft of police guns and it appears as if [Lieutenant] General Jula is completely out of his depth," provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said in a joint statement.

Communities such as Hanover Park and Ocean View have in recent weeks been plagued by gang-related shootings as what appears to be a turf war plays out on its streets.

Western Cape police, however, said a team led by a number of brigadiers were devolved to these hotspots to quell the situation.

"The team of brigadiers is supported by forces comprising public order policing members, detection teams, tactical response team and stabilisation unit members as well as intelligence operatives to bolster capacity at cluster and station levels," spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said.

"They will conduct operations, random searches and intelligence-led raids at identified places. On the ground, they will be supported by other law enforcement agencies, neighbourhood watch members and volunteers."

The interventions are set to continue until the situation has stabilised, he confirmed.

Concern over attack

Popcru and the ANC said it was also concerned with the attack on a group of officers in Hanover Park on Tuesday, which resulted in the injury of two policemen.

An officer was hit with a stone and another was bitten during the attack which broke out after residents tried to get hold of a man arrested on a murder charge.

"[We] wish a speedy recovery to the SAPS members who were injured and assure the citizens of Cape Town that Minister Fikile Mbalula has already intervened and will do what is necessary to bring stability to our communities through the intervention of the SA Police Service and national government," Jacobs said.

The party and its alliance partners would launch a signature campaign in communities affected by the gang scourge to ensure its affiliates are not granted bail, he added.


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