South Africa: Another Bloody Weekend in Cape Town, With SANDF Appearing Unprepared for Deployment

Top: Residents blockade the entrance to Hanover Park holding posters and chanting “enough is enough”. Bottom-left: South African police. Bottom-right: SANDF members perform a training exercise.

Although a police operation over the weekend netted 143 arrests, 43 murders were still committed over the same period in the Cape metro. Meanwhile, soldiers are yet to be spotted on the streets of the Cape Flats, following the announcement that the SANDF would be deployed to particularly violent areas to bolster police in tackling gang crime.

"What's the use of bringing the army in if the gangs are just fighting against them?" a worried Hanover Park resident questioned the head of the Western Cape's Anti-Gang Unit.

"They'll just be making more violence."

The resident in question was a teenager: one of a few hundred high school pupils gathered at a Hanover Park school on Monday July 15 to hear representatives from the police, justice and social welfare sectors address their concerns.

Luciano Abrahams, a learner from Mount View High School in Hanover Park, says her community has been severely affected by gangsterism. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Though the panel on stage - which included deputy justice minister John Jeffery and the Western Cape's Anti-Gang Unit chief Andre Lincoln - were keen to broaden the discussion to encompass topics like cyberbullying and child pornography, it was clear that the number one...

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