South Africa: Western Cape Community Safety Records a Decline On Gun Violence

press release

The number of murders recorded over the past weekend showed a slight decline to 41, however, the number of deaths by gunshot has shown a dramatic decline and is the lowest recorded over the past ten weekends.

Of the 41 murders, 16 were due to gunshots, 19 as a result of stabbings, and 6 due to other circumstances.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said: "When compared with last weekend, we saw the number of recorded murders in the metro region dip from 46 to 41, which is still incredibly high. What we have seen is a marked decline in the number of murders as a result of gunshot, which was at its lowest in at least ten weekends."

In the weekend before the SANDF was deployed, 33 people were shot and killed, while 18 people were shot in the first weekend of the SANDF employment. Last weekend, 21 deaths by gunshot were recorded.

"We remain concerned about the number of stabbings at 19, as these could point to instances of interpersonal violence, which in some instances is very difficult to police and prevent."

Over the weekend, Khayelitsha recorded four murders, with an additional three in Harare. Langa had a murder toll of four, while Gugulethu recorded three. One murder each was recorded for Manenberg and Mitchell's Plain.

"The SANDF is currently employed in various areas of the Western Cape as a stabilisation force, and I believe we are starting to see some impact of the additional boots on the ground in some of the trends we are seeing. Increased police operations, coupled with additional law enforcement officers from the City of Cape Town, and community Neighbourhood Watch efforts, will start to pay dividends over time as criminals and gangsters start to feel the pressure of visible policing, arrests and community-driven efforts to take back their spaces."

"The impact of the additional crime fighting resources is an indicator that our fight for additional policing resources, through an intergovernmental dispute, is the right decision. With more visible policing, and more intelligence resources, operating under effective South African Police Services management in this province, crime can be reduced," Premier Winde said.

MEC of Community Safety, Albert Fritz welcomed the declining number of deaths as a result of gun violence.

"After each weekend we see a significant fatality rate linked to gun related crime. However, it is reassuring to note that there has been a decline in the number of gun-related murders in the province over the past two months," he said.

"Going forward, my Department has recommended solutions to curb the distribution and possession of illegal firearms which include:

SAPS should tighten up the sale of ammunition and cartridges by dealers and manufactures and better comply with the Act regarding keeping a record;

In the medium-term, it is necessary to develop an electronic system linked to the Central Firearm Register and the Minster of Community Safety for oversight purposes; and

In the long-term, it is necessary to develop a Provincial Firearm and Ammunition Control Act thus affording each province a role to interrupt and disrupt the circulation of firearm ammunition.

Members of the public are also reminded that they can play a role in reducing gun violence by making use of the Illegal Firearms Hotline which can be contacted on 078 330 9333. A reward of R10 000 is available to individuals who provide accurate information regarding the illegal distribution of firearms.

Media Queries:

Bianca Capazorio - Spokesperson for Premier Alan Winde

Tel: 021 483 5004

Cell: 072 372 7044

Email: bianca.capazorio@westerncape.gov.za

Cayla Ann Tomás Murray - Spokesperson for MEC Albert Fritz

Tel: 021 483 8550

Cell: 064 121 7959

Email: Cayla.murray@westerncape.gov.za

Province:

Western Cape

Issued by: Western Cape Community Safety

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