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Mthethwa sends warning to Plato

The SAPS is ready to fight the ongoing gang violence in the Western Cape.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Monday called on Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato to make it clear whether he is on the South African Police Service (SAPS) or the gangsters.

Two SAPS members were gunned down in separate attacks in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain on Sunday night.

The ANC in the province has accused Plato of befriending gangsters but the MEC has denied any wrongdoing.

Mthethwa lashed out at the DA leadership for failing to support the SAPS. Over the past few weeks six officers have been killed across Cape Town.

"If you keep blaming the police, making them look useless to the face of the public, you are opening them up for possible attacks."

Mthethwa believes ongoing political attacks against the integrity of the SAPS have weakened the police in the eyes of society. He also told Plato to make his position on gangsterism clear.

"Firstly, the MEC has to clear his name. He must choose whether he is associated with drug leaders and drug lords.

"Whether it's the premier or the MEC there have never been positive things coming from them."

Meanwhile, the province has been plagued by gang violence in recent months.

Over 30 people across the city, including children, have been killed in gang cross fire.

Teachers at a Manenberg school in Cape Town say absenteeism has increased dramatically due to the ongoing gang violence in the area. About 200 of their 900 learners attended the school this week.

The school found itself in the middle of an outbreak of violence. Bullets whizzed through the windows of the classrooms, sending pupils scrambling for cover.

In 2012, Premier Helen Zille set up a commission of inquiry to investigate claims of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha.

Mthethwa has taken Zille to court in a bid to block the inquiry from going ahead.

Premier Helen Zille and Plato also called for the army to be deployed in gang-infested communities but government has refused, saying the army is not trained to deal with civilians.