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CT safety boss supports community shutdowns against gang violence

Mayco Member JP Smith said on Thursday, it was clear communities are fed-up.

City of Cape Town Mayco member JP Smith at the Transport Management Centre in Goodwood on 26 December 2018. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town's safety and security head is not advocating against community shutdowns against gang violence.

Mayco Member JP Smith said on Thursday it was clear communities were fed up.

Together with Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, Smith detailed plans on how they would address the high crime rates following meetings focused on dealing with gang-related crime.

Before Thursday’s media briefing started, acting provincial police commissioner Mphumulelo Manci and deputy commissioner for detectives Jeremy Veary were seen leaving the MEC's office.

They had a meeting to devise a plan to address the province's high crime rate.

Top of the agenda was a call by several community policing forum leaders to shut down their communities.

The forums gave Police Minister Bheki Cele 48 hours to respond to their demand for safer communities.

Mayco Member JP Smith said the communities should have acted long ago.

“I personally don’t have a problem with a shutdown. There can’t be business as usual when forensic pathology tells us that in three days, 71 bodies were found. We have a crisis of events and the kind of crisis that demands a dramatic stabilisation.”

However, Smith pleaded with communities not to damage infrastructure. He said with daily killings, communities simply could not afford to sit idle.