Schäfer calls on Police Minister to bring back specialised gang units

Several schools in Lavender Hill were closed recently due to ongoing gang attacks.

FILE: Western Cape MEC for Education Debbie Schafer. Picture: Cindy Archillies/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has called on the police minister to fulfil promises of bringing back specialised gang units within the South African Police Service.

Schäfer says a flare-up of gang activity in Lavender Hill is not only affecting schooling, but also the community at large.

Several schools in the suburb were closed recently due to ongoing gang attacks.

Schäfer says parents locked the gates at some Lavender Hill schools last week, preventing staff and learners from entering the premises.

Four schools were officially closed in the area this week, due to safety concerns.

Schäfer says learner numbers were low when the affected schools reopened under heavy police guard on Wednesday.

The MEC says she's been informed that attendance numbers have increased on Thursday.

Schäfer says she supports the parents' concerns and their fight for safer neighbourhoods, where children can walk to and from school without fear of being targeted by gangs.

Schäfer says police need to be resourced and properly trained to deal with issues affecting various communities that are plagued by gangsterism.

She has called on the police minister to inform them about when the gang units would be re-established.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)