Police's Anti-Gang Unit under threat

Officials say officers from the unit are being targeted by the criminal underworld.

FILE: Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The commander of the Western Cape police's Anti-Gang Unit says members of Operation Combat are at risk of being targeted by the criminal underworld.

The police unit are at the coalface of war against gangs and drugs.

A constable attached to the unit is apparently under threat after his mother was shot dead in an alleged hit this week in Manenberg.

The official's brother was also wounded in the attack on their mother's home.

But Major-General Jeremy Veary believes the successes of Operation Combat has put gangs under pressure and says officers should not feel intimidated.

He says the Anti-Gang and Drug Unit is proving to be a thorn in the side of organised crime bosses they trying to put behind bars.

Veary says the unit has recently made several major arrests.

"I'm not going to discount the fact that there is an increased level of risk to all of us involved in the unit, but never in the history have we ever gotten success like we do today."

He says while no arrests have been since the murder of the unit member's mother, he's confident of a breakthrough soon.

It's believed gangsters are behind the shooting.

He says the unit's success prove they are doing something right.

"We've been putting large number of gangsters on trial and getting convictions. Like the case in Atlantis where 16 were tried and convicted. Another example is putting 36 people on trial in Worcester in connection with the JCY gang together with four wardens who worked with them."

Veary says such successes are unprecedented in the history of the police service and the criminal justice system.