'Alcohol at the forefront of high crime'

WC commissioner Arno Lamoer says alcohol abuse is related to Nyanga’s high crime rate.

Police keep an eye on Nyanga residents during a protest. Picture: Nathan Adams/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Provincial Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer said on Wednesday he remains dedicated to pushing crimes levels down in the Western Cape.

Lamoer attended an alcohol destruction operation in Belhar on Wednesday following a blitz on illegal shebeens in the Nyanga township.

Earlier this week, the City of Cape Town confirmed that Nyanga has been labelled the murder capital of South Africa.

The police commissioner said alcohol is at the forefront of the province's high crime rate.

"We once had a 24-hour cycle where we had 17 murders, all of which were alcohol related deaths."

Nyanga has recorded 233 murders in the last year, followed by Khayelitsha with 161 and Harare with 154 murders.

On Tuesday, a funeral undertaker in the township said he sees the grisly consequences of the township's high murder rate almost every day.

Sidwell Gunqisa said his company buries at least 15 people a week, most of them murder victims.

He said he's not surprised the area has nabbed the label, 'murder capital'.

According to him, tragedy strikes every week.

Government has said it believes cracking down on illegal establishments selling alcohol is one way it can curb crime.

Western Cape police said over 103,000 litres of alcohol has been seized from illegal shebeens in the province since April this year.