MEC Fritz calls for WC state of emergency following Philippi killings

MEC Albert Fritz said police have lost the fight against crime and he wanted a tougher approach, a state of emergency with curfews and access controlled roads.

FILE: Western Cape Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albet Fritz. Picture: @AlbertFritz_DA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said he wanted to declare a state of emergency following the killing of 13 people in Philippi.

Fritz said 55 people had died in the province over the past weekend, although not all in gang-related violence. He said the provincial government’s hands were cut off as it had no control over police, which is a national function.

He said police have lost the fight against crime and he wanted a tougher approach, a state of emergency with curfews and access controlled roads.

“I really think the time has come to call for a state of emergency in this province and have a curfew to deal with the gangsters in this place.”

The violence playing out in Cape Town suburbs was highlighted by the Philippi violence in which 13 people were shot dead in various incident int the area.


Police Minister Bheki Cele said an intergovernmental meeting would take place on Tuesday to discuss ways to deal with murders in various parts of Cape Town.

“Tomorrow we have a meeting of the justice cluster where all the ministers will be there. From there, we will come with a roadmap of quick implementation not just in Philippi but in the broader metro in trying to stop the murders that are taking place here.”

Cele gave the undertaking to put in place steps to address the problem following the meeting.

On Monday afternoon, he visited Philippi where there were several fatal shootings over the weekend.

Cele met privately with the families of those murdered. The minister also met with disgruntled community members at a local hall earlier.

They had handed over a memorandum of demands at the local police station. Residents said they wanted more police officers on the ground and were also demanding specialised police units to be deployed in the area.


Bonteheuwel has experienced one of its most peaceful weekends in months. It's been six days since the launch of its Neighbourhood Safety Team where 100 law enforcement officers were deployed to the suburb.

Last weekend, four people died in the area.

In a separate incident, gangsters ran into a church last Sunday seeking safety from gunmen.

Ward Councillor Angus McKenzie said this weekend, however, was a quiet one.

“We have lost not one single person to gang violence. This has come hand in hand with the implementation of the Bonteheuwel Neighbourhood Safety Team, which has been operational since Tuesday. We have been able to make nine arrests and confiscated one illegal firearm and various forms of ammunition and a lot of drugs have been taken off our streets,” McKenzie said.

About 44 people died in the area since this year started.