South Africa: Parliament to Scrutinise Police's Anti-Gang Strategy

11 February 2019

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police will hear testimony from those living in gang-infested areas to determine how effective the police's anti-gang strategy is.

The hearing on Tuesday comes amid reports that more than 185 people have been killed in gang-related violence on the Cape Flats in the Western Cape since March 2018 - statistics which have left the committee very concerned.

Affected parties from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State and Gauteng have been invited to testify about their experiences and concerns about law enforcement.

"The Portfolio Committee is of the firm view that the input of community members, community leaders, trade unions and religious leaders is key to to deal with gang criminality. We are looking forward to listening their input and contributions," said committee chair Francois Beukman.

He said police stations in these areas should be well-resourced and have competent and experienced station commanders.

"The number of young children who have been maimed and killed in cross-fire of gang groups is totally unacceptable. All role-players ranging from parents, schools, business, religious groupings and the different levels of government should work shoulder to shoulder to address the root causes."

Beukman said the availability of illegal firearms in these communities was very concerning and needed non-stop intervention by authorities.

Another matter the committee would seek assurances on was the support that community police forums received, with two CPF members shot in different incidents this year alone.

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