Cele on anti-gang unit attack: This is an attack on the state

The officers were hospitalised after they came under fire in Samora Machel, in Nyanga.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the anti-gang unit in Cape Town on 2 November 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister general Bheki Cele has strongly condemned shooting of six anti-gang unit members in Cape Town on Wednesday morning.

The officers were hospitalised after they came under fire in Samora Machel, in Nyanga.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning. They were ambushed while conducting an operation to track down those responsible for this week’s gang violence.

The police’s Novela Potelwa said the officers arrested one of the suspects who was allegedly linked to recent murders in the area when they were shot at.

“They were searching for a second suspect when shots came from one of the shacks. As a result, six of them were injured. Two of them were seriously injured.”

In a statement, Cele said they had activated a 72-hour activation plan and wished the wounded officers a speedy recovery.

He condemned the attack on the anti-gang unit.

“Attacking members of the South African Police Service is an attack on the state, safety of our men and women in blue remains high on the agenda of the SAPS and is at the heart of the SAPS’s strategic imperatives to ensure the safety of our members.”

According to the 2017/18 crime figures, national murder rate increased by almost 7%, which translates to 57 murders a day. The latest crime statistics show that detectives in Nyanga, Cape Town, investigate 308 murders a year on average. This was 27 more than the previous financial year.

Kraaifontein, also in Cape Town, recorded the biggest jump with a staggering 31% increase in murders. The stats also show how almost all gang-related murders in South Africa were recorded in the Western Cape.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)