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Cele: Gangsters and gang leaders, your days are numbered

Police Minister Bheki Cele said it was too early to say whether the SANDF's deployment to troubled gang areas would be extended.

Police Minister Bheki Cele in Mitchells Plain on 12 August 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Bheki Cele said it was too early to say whether the SANDF's deployment to troubled gang areas would be extended.

Defence force members have been deployed to 10 Cape Town neighbourhoods to as act as support for police.

The idea was to stabilise the gang-ridden areas for long enough to break the back of the problem.

Cele said that police had already arrested 1,000 people since Operation Lockdown began last month.

Just less than a month ago soldiers rolled into gang-ridden areas in Cape Town for an initial period of three months to support police in their anti-gang operations.

Police Minister Bheki Cele highlighted the successes of the operation - 1,400 arrests on serious charges and 20 known members of notorious gangs in the court system already.

Despite that, 47 murders were recorded in the Cape Metro over the weekend.

"We acknowledge that crime is stabilising, however, we would have loved to see the figures dropping even further. With concerted effort, we are working towards reducing the figures even further. Criminals, particularly gangsters and gang leaders, your days are numbered."

The Mitchell's Plain Community Policing Forum said it was all good and well that the army was present but they wanted to see more operations and a plan for when the army left.

"They have become tourists. They have the skills, why not utilise the skills in order for them to make an impact we so desire as a community. Has SAPS got a plan after the army leaves because I haven't seen that plan?"

Cele told Eyewitness News they would decide later in the deployment whether to ask the army to stay for longer than the three months initially planned.

WATCH: Over 1,000 arrests since SANDF deployment in CT

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