Western Cape gangsterism tackled

A discussion on strategies to deal with gangsterism was held at UCT on Wednesday.

FILE: Gang violence has in recent days been flaring up in Delft, Mitchells Plain and Ravensmead. Picture: Mia Spies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Police officials in the Western Cape say they've had to tailor their approach to fighting gangsterism in the province because of the problem's complex nature.

Operation Combat is the South African Police Service's drive to deal with gangs and drugs, arguably two of the provinces biggest problems.

A discussion on strategies to deal with gangsterism was held at University of Cape Town last night.

Major-general Jeremy Vieri says flexibility is key to the police's approach to dealing with gangsters.

"Past practices where we get into permanent structures, as opposed to project methodology, make us a long term target for corruption. The same people, doing the same things for the next 20 years which is what happened with the other units."

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town's JP Smith says their imitative, The Ceasefire Programme, is making a difference.

"You need to look at the societal investments they are making in terms of trying to change the attitudes."

He says a societal approach is needed.


As the same time, authorities have been given 10 days to address gang violence in Bonteheuwel or face community protests.

The Bonteheuwel Joint Peace Forum has issued the ultimatum to President Jacob Zuma, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Mayor Patricia De Lille and Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer.

It says it's yet to receive responses to an open letter distributed on 3 August.

The forum's Judy Kennedy said gang violence has seen fatal shootings on almost a daily basis over the past three months.

The forum says school children are running a potentially deadly gauntlet amid gang warfare in the area.

It says gang shootings often break out near schools in the area.

The forum claims pupils are dying like flies on a daily basis due to traumatic increase in gang violence over the past few months.

In the latest incident, a teenage boy was gunned down during a gun battle last night.