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Zille wants army in CT

Helen Zille has written to the President requesting soldiers to protect residents against gang violence.

DA leader Helen Zille. Picture: Niki McQueen via www.da.org.za.
Jacob Zuma,Helen Zille,gang violence,Hanover Park,Lavender Hill,gang crossfire
Local

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has written to President Jacob Zuma, requesting soldiers to be sent to Hanover Park and Lavender Hill.

It's estimated between 30 and 40 people have been shot in gang-related violence over the past six months.

Zille believes police simply cannot tackle the crisis, alone.

“In those two areas alone, 17 people have been killed in the last few months including some children caught in the crossfire.”

While she's waiting for a response from Zuma, Pastor Isaac Rubyn has described the gang-violence in Hanover Park as a "mini war".

“I didn’t make a request for the army to come in and kill gangsters, but only to protect – just for their visibility over areas. The police, they do what they can, but they can’t do much. The gangsters don’t even take the police seriously in these areas.”

Meanwhile, the Defence Department said special legal processes need to be followed before the army can be deployed inside the country's borders.

The department's Siphiwe Dlamini said if Zuma's received the request, he will make contact with the ministry.

“The president will be advised accordingly, but both the Minister and the Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) when they have made an assessment.”

In the latest incident of gang violence, three-year-old Kauthar Alexander was injured in a crossfire between rival gangs.

She was discharged from Red Cross Hospital on Sunday, after she sustained six gunshot wounds to her legs.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town said it was doing its bit to tackle gang violence.

Safety and Security Mayco Member JP Smith stressed that they can only do so much as law enforcement resources are thinly spread.

He said while they want to do more to tackle gangsterism, they also have other priorities.

“Our extra manpower is in Nyanga dealing with the high murder rate which is far more serious than the gang rate in Hanover Park. However, people are so used to it that they don’t discuss it as a crisis anymore.”

Smith said their small gang unit had since December made 130 arrests. .

"We’re bolstering the number of members in the gang unit and the drug unit.”

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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