The apparent assassination of top Cape Town advocate Pete Mihalik outside his son's school in Green Point is a brazen attack on the entire criminal justice system, says the city's mayor-in-waiting Dan Plato.
"The callous murder of Mr Mihalik, while dropping off his child at school, and despite allegedly having protection services, shows to what ends those involved in organised crime will go to carry out the orders of gang bosses and drug lords," said Plato, the outgoing MEC for community safety in the province.
Mihalik was shot dead in his car while dropping off his children at Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard school in Green Point on Tuesday morning. His 8-year-old son was injured and is being treated in a hospital.
Specialist police teams were combing the scene for forensic evidence. The school was on lockdown and would offer counselling for the children.
"This morning's attack is a serious threat to the entire criminal justice system on which law abiding citizens rely to break the hold [on] those responsible for the scourge of gangs, drugs and guns in our communities," Plato said.
He said that the Western Cape government had called for an anti-gang unit for years.
Plato said that President Cyril Ramaphosa's launch of Police Minister Bheki Cele's new anti-gang unit on Friday was "too little too late". The public and families of gang violence victims needed assurance that the police were in control, he said.
"Cape Town and the Western Cape cannot be ruled by figures from the underworld," said Plato, adding that 83% of gang-related murders occur in Western Cape.
He also wanted clarity on the staffing of the new anti-gang unit. It is already up and running, according to an address by Cele after the murder of Gift of the Givers volunteer Amierodeen Noordien in Hanover Park earlier in October.
Plato said he wanted to know whether the 95 planned officers would be taken away from other units in the province, and whether they would form part of the temporary deployment of an extra 257 police officers under Operation Thunder.
This is an operation which draws on policing specialists from different divisions.
"What has become of the 2016 State of the Nation promise to reintroduce fully-fledged gang, gun and drug specialised units? Are these 95 officers all we can expect in this regard?" Plato asked.
Plato is set to succeed Patricia De Lille as mayor on Thursday, pending her proposed resignation taking full effect, amid rumours she may stay on.