Zille calls for clarity on police deployment to ganglands

2016-04-17 14:09
Helen Zille. (Bongiwe Gumede, Foto24)

Helen Zille. (Bongiwe Gumede, Foto24)

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Cape Town – Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has called for clarity on the deployment status of all policing units operating within the province.

Concerns were raised by Manenberg residents that visible policing in the gang-infested area had declined during the recent flare up of violence, she said in a statement.

“Manenberg residents say they are not feeling the presence of the police, and we take this perception very seriously. We understand that many arrests have been made over the last two weeks, but we are concerned that SAPS do not have what it takes to combat the violence in Manenberg,” she said.

This was despite new provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula's announcement that more police officers would be allocated to the province.

Jula said on Tuesday highly skilled and trained officers would be deployed to Manenberg. “We are assuring members of Manenberg and surrounding areas that we are responding to challenges.”

Operation Combat

He said from Monday, members working from the provincial police office would instead work at stations affected by high volumes of crime and gang violence.

"They are going to actually be an additional resource now available for station commanders to fight the scourge of serious crimes," he said.

Zille said they wanted more clarity on Operation Combat, a specialised SAPS unit that fights gangs.

“Residents are living under terror. There are brave police officers actively combatting gang violence, but they are risking their lives without any high level support. The lack of policing resources is an act of sabotage that is costing lives,” she said.

Following the recent spotlight on gang violence in the Western Cape, Parliament's portfolio committee on police chairperson, Francois Beukman, will visit police stations in Paarl on Monday.

The visit was in response to various concerns raised by community leaders regarding gang activity among children and high school learners.

Read more on:    police  |  helen zille  |  cape town  |  gang violence  |  crime

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