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Heavy police presence in Philippi as CT awaits SANDF deployment

Police Minister Bheki Cele has announced that the South African Police Service (SAPS) and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members will be deployed in crime-riddled communities in Cape Town.

Police conduct an operation in Philippi East, Cape Town on 12 July 2019. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Bheki Cele has announced that the South African Police Service (SAPS) and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members will be deployed in crime-riddled communities in Cape Town.

The officers were meant to be deployed to undisclosed areas from early Friday morning.

Several areas in the Mother City have buckled under violence in recent months.

These areas include Bonteheuwel, Delft, Hanover Park and Philippi East.

Cele's spokesperson Reneilwe Serero: "I can certainly confirm that this morning at 2am there will be a large contingency that will be deployed in the most volatile areas of the Western Cape by the police together with the army."

Police are making their presence felt in Philippi this morning.

Several police vans are lined up along Nondlwana Street are among the first indications of a blitz be carried out here.

Officers are pulling over vehicles which are being searched while their occupants are patted down.

One man was stopped while making his way to work. He was carrying a backpack with a large knife inside but couldn't provide police with an explanation as to why he was in possession of a dangerous weapon.

Some residents seem nervous as they make their way down the road on foot, many of them saying they just want to get to work safely. But officers are thorough, checking all bags. But where are the soldiers?

Residents there said it's one of the most dangerous streets in Philippi, with one woman explaining how she got robbed in her own yard on Thursday.

The Police Minister Bheki Cele visited this community earlier this week following the murders of 11 people last weekend. His spokesperson told EWN on Thursday night there would be boots on the ground from today.

As yet, no SANDF members can be seen.

The City of Cape Town has welcomed the planned deployment of the army.

The city's JP Smith: "The SAPS is clearly not able to cope with the levels of crisis due to its low staff numbers, inadequate numbers of detectives and a whole range of deficiencies involving Crime Intelligence, the failure of sharing information, the lack of effective partnerships with communities and other agencies."

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