Mbalula, not province, has power to send in more police - Phillipi East leader

The tavern in Marikana informal settlement where the shooting took place. (Jenni Evans)
The tavern in Marikana informal settlement where the shooting took place. (Jenni Evans)

Cape Town - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is the only person with the power to send more police officers to Philippi East, and he must do it urgently, a local community leader and politician said on Tuesday.

"Dan Plato, the MEC for community safety in the province, does not have the legal powers to instruct the police. Only the national minister can," said Nceba Hinana, who is also a DA member of the provincial legislature.

"The reservists are no longer there. And there are not enough police available," said Hinana, one of a number of people waiting for Mbalula to arrive at the police station.

Also read: Patrollers live in fear after Cape Town mass shooting

The minister's visit comes after 11 people were shot in nearby Marikana, close to the Philippi East police station, on Friday night.

Hinana said that, somehow, resources could be found to saturate the City of Cape Town's CBD with patrollers, yet not Philippi East.

He said there were people who had the skills and could help.

"The number of police must be increased, and it must be done now," he said. 

'We are looking for the soldiers'

Community leader Joseph Makeleni said Philippi East residents were feeling discouraged about the police, and wanted the military to intervene.

"We are looking for the soldiers. Please." 

Read more: 'I just waited to die' - Eyewitness in Cape shooting that left 11 dead

Mbalula is expected to visit the police station, which was stormed by angry residents on Saturday. They have accused the police of just fetching bodies, and not actively patrolling.

Mbalula is expected to go to a community hall to listen to their concerns.

Marikana does not feature on Google Maps, but it is on the flight path of jets landing at Cape Town International Airport, west of the city, so residents pause their conversations for the roar of the planes to pass over them.

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