Bheki Cele adamant cops are not losing the war on crime in the Western Cape

Police Minister Bheki Cele told Philippi East residents his department has not lost the war on crime. (Kamva Somdyala, News24)
Police Minister Bheki Cele told Philippi East residents his department has not lost the war on crime. (Kamva Somdyala, News24)

Police Minister Bheki Cele is adamant the ministry is not losing the fight against crime as Philippi East residents in Cape Town try to make sense of a bloody weekend that saw 11 people being shot and killed in separate incidents.

Cele visited the area on Monday and met with the families of those who lost loved ones in the shootings.

He listened as resident after resident relayed how a lack of policing was to blame as they try to come to grips with the aftermath of a weekend during which six women and five men were killed.

"No, we are not losing the war on crime, but the situation is bad," Cele told journalists after his meeting with residents. 

"Crime will never be an issue for police alone," he said, revisiting an earlier remark he had made that collaboration among departments was crucial to having better visibility and reducing crime.

"Only through departmental collaboration would there be better lighting on streets and installed street cameras," he added.

Cele's remarks came as the Philippi East ward committee member for safety and security, Xolisa Pukayi, told News24 that "war and mayhem" are plaguing the area. Pukayi said the police have failed in their duty, adding: "We don't need the police anymore. We need the army." 

According to Pukayi, the army was needed to restore order in the community. Cele has previously rejected requests for the army to be deployed to crime and gang ravaged suburbs.

On Sunday, Cele received a memorandum from residents and he promised them that he would be back with an update within five days.

"I'm not making a promise, I'm making a commitment," he said.

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