City of CT says law enforcement officers under strain

Cebo Mhleli Mbatha, a first-year UCT student, was stabbed to death and his friend injured in an attack at Clifton’s third beach on Saturday night.

The City of Cape Town’s new Neighbourhood Safety Team, which consists of 100 law enforcement officers, conducted patrols in Bonteheuwel on 2 July 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town said law enforcement officers were under strain this weekend following protest and gang violence flare-ups.

Cebo Mhleli Mbatha, a first-year UCT student, was stabbed to death and his friend injured in an attack at Clifton’s third beach on Saturday night.

Ward councillor Nicola Jowell said the attack happened in the parking area at the beach.

Two men approached two couples and robbed them of their cellphones. The two men put up a fight and were stabbed by their robbers.

The Community Safety MEC said the fatal stabbing at Clifton Beach over the weekend highlights the urgent need for the roll-out of the premier’s safety plan.

Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith added that staff members were deployed to protest-hit areas. “This last weekend was extremely difficult because of the massive violence around Du Noon and gang violence. Our staff was deployed around the Cape Flats, Du Noon and the N7 to prevent the loss of life.”

The provincial government’s R1 billion safety plan will see the training and deployment of 3,000 new law enforcement officers.

MEC Albert Fritz said they condemned the attack.

“We think this sense of criminality must be stopped in every space in Cape Town. We need safe spaces and realise the urgency of our safety plan.”

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said they saddened by the student’s death.

“UCT is very distraught as our students and citizens continue to be affected by violent crime. The university will continue to engage with author outies.”

WEEKEND PROTESTS

A bus was set alight as protests flared up in Milnerton on Saturday morning. As a result, several roads were closed around the Joe Slovo area.

This followed days of violent protests in Du Noon and Joe Slovo linked to traffic law enforcement operations against minibus taxis.

A Dunoon ward councillor warned the protests would continue until taxi associations and the City of Cape Town reached an agreement.

Lubabalo Makeleni said the Dunoon Taxi Association was fed up after their taxis were impounded.

“The taxis have been impounded over the past month and they were tolerant, but there were no results in their favour.”

On Friday, passing vehicles were stoned, a truck and two MyCiTi bus stations were set alight and roads were blocked with burning tyres.

Police continue protest-hit areas after violent demonstrations over the weekend.