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Some Mitchells Plain residents accuse army, cops of targeting the wrong people

Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that over 1,000 people had been arrested since Operation Lockdown was launched, which saw the deployment of the SANDF in July.

FILE: SANDF soldiers on patrol in Hanover Park. The military has released their soldiers to help stabilise gang hotspots, while law enforcement agencies conducted raids in the area. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - There have been mixed reactions from Mitchells Plain residents after Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the gang-ridden area on Monday.

Tafelsig resident Shirley Alexander said while many community members were relieved by the army’s presence, she felt the soldiers and police were targeting the wrong people.

"People officers searched the wrong people. They stopped my granddaughter and me. She [the officer] said if more than three people are seen on a corner they're a gang. She can see that I don't use drugs."

Cele announced that more than a 1,000 people had been arrested since Operation Lockdown was launched, which saw the deployment of the SANDF in July.

According to Premier Alan Winde, 47 murders were recorded by forensics services over the weekend in the province.

The Mitchells Plain Community Policing Forum said there had been a reduction in crime in the area. However, the forum called for more operations in hotspot areas.

The forum's Lynne Phillips said: "We're not seeing real operations like the lockdowns that we wanted to see."

Cele said once the initial three-month deployment had been completed, they would decide on extending the deployment further.

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