Cape Town - Police will be out in full force in Manenberg
on election day, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa
told residents of Cape Town's
gang-plagued township on Thursday.
Mthethwa was joined by Defence Minister Nosiviwe
Mapisa-Nqakula, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, International
Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and Correctional Services Minister
Sibusiso Ndebele during a walkabout in Manenberg to assess readiness for the
"We deploy as much police as possible to ensure
safety as we prepare for elections," he told residents at a local
"Part of the programme relates to drug abuse and
Mthethwa and his fellow ministers were bombarded with
questions from residents.
Joyce Stollies wanted to know why government only came to
their area every five years on the eve of elections.
"We are not coming here because there's
elections," Mthethwa answered.
"We were here [during the height of the gang
shootings] and we deployed people."
Stollies also asked why teenagers, used by gang bosses in
the area to carry out shootings, were released hours after being arrested.
"The community has a right to petition or write to
the magistrate if they think that somebody arrested does not deserve
bail," he said.
Members of the police's tactical response team and flying
squad drove through the area during the walkabout. Mounted police officers were
also visible earlier, a sight residents did not often see in Manenberg.
Stollies and others said this type of police presence was
not normal for the area, even during the shootings.
The area has been relatively quiet over the past few
months after a surge in gang shootings last year.
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