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Western Cape govt: Army deployment will play crucial role in tackling violence

The South African National Defence Force is preparing to move into suburbs in the Mother City to try curb gang-related violence and gangsterism.

FILE. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government says the deployment of the army to Cape Town will play an important role in helping to tackle gang violence.

The South African National Defence Force is preparing to move into suburbs in the Mother City to try curb gang-related violence and gangsterism.

Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that police would be assisted by the army in various crime hotspots for three months.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said once the areas are stabilised, government departments would move in to work with communities.

Spokesperson Cayla Murray said regular reports would be sent to the provincial cabinet and premier.

“The deployment of the army is a crucial step in allowing both government and communities to work together in addressing the many challenges which encourage the scourge of violence and crime in our province.”

The aim of this inter-ministerial collaboration was to assist with stabilising communities after a crackdown that would, for the first time, involve the defence force.

Meanwhile, community organisations said they would continue meeting as the army prepared to enter gang-ravaged communities.

For months, community policing forums have been calling for the deployment of more police officers to areas severely affected by gang violence.

There had been a marked rise in gang murders this year.

Last weekend, 11 people were murdered in Philippi where six women and five men were found shot dead.

At the same, a crime summit is set to take place from Saturday.

Seven national ministers will be in attendance.

Community policing forums were demanding that a state of emergency be declared in crime hot spots and gang-infested areas.

It's still unclear exactly when the army will hit the ground, but there was some limited defence force activity on Friday.

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