Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema advanced a new theory on how to deal with the scourge of gangsterism and crime affecting certain areas in Cape Town and the Western Cape.
At an impromptu press conference in Cape Town’s parliamentary precinct on Thursday evening, Malema appeared to suggest that the province’s police should be swopped for those from various other provinces on a rotational basis.
“We need to bring the Venda police here for a particular period, swop them with the Natal police, remove them…” he suggested.
Malema believes police in the province “embedded” in the worlds of “gangsterism and the underworld”.
“If you conduct a raid in a particular flat, they are the ones who inform the drug lords who inform the gangsters that we have planned a raid on such and such a day,” he said.
This is why he thinks it would help to “bring in the outside police force”.
“What happened to AmaBeret, what happened to counter-assault team, what happened to the special task force, where is the intelligence?” he asked.
“And not the Western Cape intelligence, you ought to bring in the police who are not familiar with these people here in the western cape”.
He elaborated that the reason for this was that these outside police officers would have “no friends” and “no sympathies” in the Western Cape.
“Equally, they know after executing that task no one will kill their families because no one knows them and no one knows their families.
“Apart from being embedded in gangsterism, a lot of police live under intimidation, they are told if you do that your family will be in danger.”
Malema also said the outside police must be given “firepower”.
“The other problem is that when these people shoot, the police are unable to respond because they are restrained,” he said.
“They should be given serious firepower, particularly when they go and work in the dangerous areas where there’s gangsters and drugs.
“I’m told there are areas where police can’t enter completely.”
Cape Town is ranked among the most violent cities in the world, with a staggering 43 people killed in the city this past weekend alone.
An article by academic Lindy Heinecken recently argued that, despite the severity of the situation, bringing in the military could cause problems, with studies showing that using the military in an internal role can exacerbate conflict, rather than resolve it.
(Additional reporting, Lindy Heinecken)