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SJC protests over policing resources in informal settlements

This came a day after six policemen were ambushed in Samora Machel while conducting a crime-fighting operation.

FILE: Members and supporters of Equal Education and Social Justice Coalition marching to Parliament. They want Parliament’s police committee to fulfill its role in overseeing a revision of the way police resources are allocated. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - About 50 members of the Social Justice Coalition protested outside the provincial head office of the South African Police Service in Cape Town on Thursday, calling for sufficient police resources for informal settlements.

This came a day after six police officers were ambushed in Samora Machel while conducting a crime-fighting operation. Two of the officers were seriously injured, and one suspect was arrested.

The group's Axolile Natywala said: “The contexts in the informal settlement is a different one; the environment is different. So, if you are not properly trained to deal with those issues, you are bound to be in danger.”

The SJC said the attack on six anti-gang unit members could've been prevented.

Natywala said informal settlements urgently need streetlights and visible policing.

“Last year in Marikana (informal settlement), when 11 people were killed in one day, they (police) were scared themselves to go inside Marikana because there is no light and they can’t go inside those corridors.”

Police Minister Bheki Cele and senior police officers visited two critically wounded anti-gang unit members in hospital on Wednesday.