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Army 'not the solution' to WC gang problem - researcher

A researcher says that deploying SANDF members is not necessarily the solution dealing with gangsterism.

FILE: Members of the SANDF gather outside a blocks of flats in a known gang area in Ottery, Cape Town, during a Fiela Operation conducted during the early hours of the morning. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A researcher at the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum says that sending in the army is not necessarily the solution dealing with gangsterism.

In Cape Town, numerous suburbs continue to be gripped by the scourge.

WATCH: Cele announces deployment of anti-gang unit in Hanover Park

Residents recently took to the streets calling for urgent help.

The forum’s Simon Howell says: “Responding with police is just creating more of a problem. What we’re doing is fighting violence with violence. If you keep on bringing guns to gunfights, people get shot. If you’re sending in the military… that’s the worst type of response. What we’re doing is further ostracising the very communities that need to be integrated into society.”

Last month, Police Minister Bheki Cele and Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole released the 2017/18 crime figures showing the national murder rate has increased by almost 7%, which translates to 57 murders a day.

The statistics also revealed how almost all gang-related murders in South Africa were recorded in the Western Cape.

The police's head of statistics Major General Norman Sekhukhune explained: “The province with the highest gang related-murders was the Western Cape with 808. The Eastern Cape had 87 gang-related murders.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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