CoCT official wants WC govt to take over policing as anti-crime protest grows

Kensington is one of several neighbourhoods in the Cape where residents are publicly venting their anger over gang violence.

Police seen in Kensington during an anti-crime protest on 25 September 2018. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

CAPE TOWN – A protest is growing in Kensington, Cape Town, where a small group of residents has gathered along 18th Avenue under the watchful eye of law enforcement officers.

Kensington is one of several neighbourhoods in the Cape where residents are publicly venting their anger over gang violence.

A local claims there was shooting in neighbouring Factreton early on Tuesday morning. Residents who’ve gathered say they desperately need more help from authorities.

“Here in Kensington, the shootings go heavy. I want to know where the police are when these things happen.”

Another resident added: “On the news they’ll say the community doesn’t stand with police, but where is the community and police right now? Right next to each other.”

The City of Cape Town says the demonstrations are illegal.

The City's Richard Bosman warns that there could serious traffic disruptions.

“We have been engaging with SAPS since the message has been doing the rounds on social media. Our staff, including law enforcement, traffic and SAPS will be deployed jointly, especially to the Voortrekker Road area and Bonteheuwel which were problematic the last time.”

Reacting to the demonstrations, the City of Cape Town's JP Smith says it's time the Western Cape government be given control of policing.

“At this stage, all public order police is under the control of the South African Police Service. I think it’s time for provincial government to be given control of police so that they can fix the mess national police have made of it. This can happen through the assignment of the function, and it would bring us closer to international best practice.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)