Cops not keen on army in gang-ridden areas

2012-07-11 20:55
Nathi Mthethwa. (Beeld)

Nathi Mthethwa. (Beeld)

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Cape Town - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa will visit gang-ridden communities in Cape Town on Wednesday, his spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said.

"He will visit Lavender Hill and Hanover Park to get firsthand feedback from them on gangs... and also to find solutions," he said.

"The police alone cannot fight crime. For us, it's better sometimes to get direct feedback. We also don't want to get [to] the point where it's just talk and no action."

The minister would be accompanied by provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer.

At least 23 people, including seven children, have died in the area as a result of gang violence in recent months.

Premier Helen Zille wrote a letter to President Jacob Zuma on Monday to ask for the army to be deployed to Lavender Hill and Hanover Park.

Mthethwa and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula were sent copies of the letter.

Mnisi said a long-term strategy was needed and the deployment of troops could not be a so-called "golden bullet".

"The mere presence of [the] army means it's war. Let's rather capacitate the police. If it's about the resources, it can be treated."

He said a decision on army deployment would require much discussion and interaction among the relevant parties.

Western Cape police were expected to comment on the visit later on Wednesday.
- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  helen zille  |  nathi mthethwa  |  cape town  |  gang violence
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