Crime summit to discuss solutions as SANDF gets ready to deploy in Cape Town

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Law enforcement officers deployed to Philippi. (PHOTO: Jaco Marais)
Law enforcement officers deployed to Philippi. (PHOTO: Jaco Marais)

As the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) prepares to deploy to support police efforts in the Western Cape's gang-infested areas, police top brass will from Saturday be engaging a range of stakeholders on ways to fight crime in the province.

A planned police operation against crime and gangs in the Western Cape's 10 police precincts with the highest attempted murder rates, is set to be supported by the SANDF.

Over 500 delegates are expected to attend a two-day provincial crime summit in Paarl, which starts on Saturday. Police Minister Bheki Cele, Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale and Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu will be attendance.

The summit, hosted by the South African Police Service (SAPS), will run until Sunday. It will focus on the theme of "Building a United Front in The Fight Against Crime, in an effort to build safer communities" and will engage various organisations and stakeholders in seeking solutions to crime in the province.

"The crime summit aims to bring various stakeholders together to exchange views and craft sustainable solutions towards combating crime in the Western Cape," said SAPS spokesperson Vish Naidoo.

"As well as to engage provincial government on critical crime related matters such as environmental design and prevailing socio-economic conditions in the Western Cape, an objective the SAPS cannot achieve solely, but [which] requires an integrated approach involving all communities and all spheres of government."

'Deployment papers'

On Sunday, a declaration will be adopted at the summit, which will outline commitments from the attendees in the fight against crime.

SANDF troops from around the country arrived in Cape Town on Friday. It is unclear when the troops will move into the identified precincts.

Department of Defence spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini told News24 the SANDF does not deploy without clear legal instruments in place, known as "deployment papers".

"So that at least the nation is aware that it (the support) is legally authorised.

"From our side, we have processed everything," said Dlamini.

The SANDF is expected to support police operations in 10 areas, which combined contribute to 42% of attempted murders in the province.

These areas include:

 - Bishop Lavis;

 - Mitchells Plain;

 - Delft;

 - Elsies River;

 - Nyanga;

 - Khayelitsha;

 - Mfuleni;

 - Philippi;

 - Kraaifontein; and

 - Manenberg.

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