Top cop formulating a plan to curb gang activity in EC, WC

The Presidency is still to decide whether the South African Defence Force (SANDF) will be deployed to gang hotspots across the country.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma with new SAPS National Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole. Picture: Picture GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Newly-appointed National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole says that he's formulating a plan to deal with gang violence in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.

He says they are hotbeds for the scourge.

“In stamping the authority of the state, we are actually impending to stabilise gangsterism. I think it will be in a period of three months, starting now. At the moment, we have the festive season which is a heightened city operation.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency is still to decide whether the South African Defence Force (SANDF) will be deployed to gang hotspots across the country.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula in October requested the help of soldiers to assist the South African Police Service with crime fighting.

President Jacob Zuma, as Commander-In-Chief of the army, has the final say if and when soldiers can be deployed.
It's been eight weeks since Mbalula's request and still there's no clear direction from the Presidency on the matter.
Numerous requests to officials for clarity have been futile.

Mbalula is seeking the rollout of soldiers to communities peppered with criminality in the Western Cape, Port Elizabeth, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

He earlier this month said that the South African National Defence Force will be deployed before Christmas.
The army will be linked to specific police-driven operations over this period.

Additional reporting by Kevin Brandt.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)