Cops in cahoots with gangsters - Lavender Hill residents

Lavender Hill residents told Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa local cops are in cahoots with gangsters.

Pupils from St George Primary in Lavender Hill are sent home because of gang violence. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Lavender Hill residents on Wednesday told Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa that local officers were in cahoots with gangsters, making it difficult for community members to trust SAPS.

Mthethwa visited the violence-torn area on Wednesday, to hear first-hand how residents feel about the daily shootings.

One man said he believes there are too many dirty cops in the area.

"They are working together here, not all of them but most of them are. We have to get the army in here, that's the best they can do."

Another resident said they see too many criminals released from jail the day after they are arrested.

"Steenberg police are working with the gangsters, they go to jail and the next day they're released. The cops are corrupt."

Mthethwa defended officers against some allegations, but told community members to report any suspicions of corruption.

"If the police have arrested a person already, it's beyond their power now that they are with the Justice department. When there are also suspicions that some of the police are working with gangsters, it becomes even more complicated."

The Hanover Park, Lavender Hill and Grassy Park areas have been plagued by gang-violence in recent months.

Stray bullets in gang-crossfire across these communities have injured and killed innocent people.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has written a letter to President Jacob Zuma, requesting the South African army be deployed to these areas to intervene.

The Presidency on Tuesday said that Zille's request was receiving the necessary attention.