23 February 2019

South Africa: Bonteheuwel Reeling After 17th Alleged Murder of 2019

The community of Bonteheuwel in Cape Town is reeling from yet another murder in the suburb after a man's body was found in a street with a stab wound.

An eyewitness told News24 on Saturday that the deceased was "violently stabbed with a trail of blood [stretching] about 100m to where he was found".

Western Cape police confirmed that they were investigating the murder of an 18-year-old man on Saturday.

"The circumstances surrounding the death of an 18-year-old man are being investigated after his body was discovered in Taaibos Road Bonteheuwel this morning at around 05:15 with a stab wound," the police's André Traut said.

"If this is a murder, which assumed, it takes Bonteheuwel's 2019 total to 17," Bonteheuwel councillor Angus McKenzie said on Saturday.

Traut could not confirm the amount of gang-related murders in the area, due to a moratorium on crime statistics.

In January alone, police were investigating three separate gang-related incidents in the area in what was suspected to be a flare up of gang-related violence.

McKenzie claimed the millions spent thus far on the province's Anti-Gang Unit had been "ineffective".

He accused the ANC of prioritising "cheap party politics" over peace in the Bonteheuwel community ahead of the 2019 May elections.

"Those tasked to protect us seemingly don't care that number 18 is rapidly becoming a reality rather than doing everything in their power to avoid it," McKenzie said, referring to the next possible gang-related death.

"What more motivation is needed for the custodians of safety and security; the national police minister and the president to realise they are failing our communities," McKenzie concluded.

He further appealed to the police ministry to deploy the army to Bonteheuwel, claiming the police had failed to fulfill their duty to provide safety.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has previously rejected calls to deploy the army to crime-ridden Cape Town streets, saying the army was not trained to deal with civilians.

He also said the rate of crime in the Western Cape had not reached the point that necessitated the deployment of the armed forces.

He told Parliament's portfolio committee on police earlier this month that the Western Cape has received the most resources from his department since the launch of the anti-gang unit.

The DA meanwhile were campaigning for provincial police services in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.

Policing is currently a national mandate of the South African Police Services (SAPS). The setting up of a provincial police service would require a change in legislation.

Source: News24

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