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Bring back specialised policing units to deal with crime - Sapu

The union said deploying the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in the province to gang-ridden areas was not the solution to addressing violent crime.

SAPS and members of the SANDF rolled into gang-ravaged communities in Cape Town. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African Policing Union (Sapu) is calling on the police service to bring back specialised units to deal with crime in the Western Cape.

The union said deploying the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in the province to gang-ridden areas was not the solution to addressing violent crime.

The previous weekend there were 47 murders recorded by forensics services. And over the past weekend, a number of murders were recorded in various parts of Cape Town.

Sapu’s Tumelo Mogodiseng said the drug unit, along with murder and robbery units, must be launched again as it used to stop the drug lords.

“For murder and robbery, you cannot have a detective having housebreaking and theft, all these 300 dockets, also again investigating a murder. A murder case… it’s so complicated. It can even take up to five years to be investigated.”

Following the deployment of the army, more than 1,000 people have been arrested under Operation Lockdown.
MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz said he was concerned that the arrests had not resulted in charges and convictions.

He said the majority of those arrested were released within 72 hours due to detective services' failure to positively link the arrests to crimes.

“What we’re asking is what exactly happened to those arrests? We are saying that our court watching briefs are strong tools which will assist the police to assess the quality of the docket.”

Fritz suggested that Police Minister Bheki Cele make use of the department's court watching briefs unit.