WC gang violence stats ratchets pressure on Zuma to deploy army

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has argued that the intensity of violent crimes in parts of these provinces, particularly Cape Town, calls for urgent intervention.

FILE: Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) patrol Rea Vaya routes in Soweto. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Gang violence accounts for over 19% of murders in the Cape.

On Tuesday, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula released the 2016/2017 crime stats at Parliament.

This will ratchet up pressure on President Jacob Zuma to authorise the deployment of the military to gang hotspots in the province and Gauteng.

Earlier this month, Mbalula requested the South African National Defence Force’s support to assist with crime fighting in both provinces. But it’s now up to Zuma to decide if the army should be deployed to help police.

The Western Cape Safety Forum says that mistrust between residents and police is not helping the situation.

Forum chairperson Roegshanda Pascoe explains: “As I speak now, shootings are causing havoc. The whole place has been filled with guns and they’re shooting continuously in Manenberg. That is the condition. Not even in the shops, wherever you go, you’re not safe and that is what we experience on a daily basis.”

Mbalula has argued that the intensity of violent crimes in parts of these provinces, particularly Cape Town, calls for urgent intervention.

As commander-in-chief of SANDF, Zuma has the final say in terms of soldier deployment.

Mbalula’s proposal is now going through the relevant government channels.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)