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Cele: Army will not be deployed to WC gang-ridden areas

The Police Minister believes while the SAPS is still facing some challenges, it’s turning the tide on crime.

Police Minister Bheki Cele (centre) has provided feedback on the successes of SAPS and the challenges experienced with Operation Thunder in the Western Cape. Picture: Twitter/ @SAPoliceService.

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Bheki Cele has again reiterated that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will not be deployed to Western Cape communities.

Cele earlier on Thursday briefed the media on the successes of the SA Police Service (SAPS) and the challenges experienced with Operation Thunder.

The initiative was launched in May to focus on murders, taxi violence, political killings, cash-in-transit heists and armed robberies.

Cele believes while the SAPS is still facing some challenges, it’s turning the tide on crime.

“If we need numbers to increase, those are the police numbers we need. We don’t need members of the SA National Defence. The SANDF is not trained in policing, [they’re] trained on the army situation.”

This comes after renewed calls for the army to be deployed to gang-ridden communities in the province.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane will on Thursday lead a march from Manenberg to Nyanga calling for soldiers to be deployed.

Cele says since the launch of Operation Thunder in May, officials recorded a spike in the number of murders in Mitchell's Plain, Bishop Lavis, Elsies River and Philippi East.

Meanwhile, Ravensmead, Philippi, Manenberg, Steenberg, and Worcester have seen a decrease in murders.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)