Alan Winde explains reasons for wanting army stay extended by six months

Armoured personnel carriers bring soldiers armed with automatic weapons to the Cape Flats to rout out gangsters. Pictures: Ashraf Hendricks

Armoured personnel carriers bring soldiers armed with automatic weapons to the Cape Flats to rout out gangsters. Pictures: Ashraf Hendricks

He says Cape Town has seen very little in the way of a decrease in violent crime.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has on Wednesday said he wanted the army to be deployed to the Cape Flats for at least six more months as crime remained high and areas had not yet been stabilised.

However, his request to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was on condition that certain undertakings were met.

“We are being told that the SANDF (SA National Defence Force) has played a key role in Operation Lockdown so far, particularly in providing support to the SAPS (SA Police Service) and other law enforcement operations. However, we have seen very little in the way of a decrease in violent crime,” he said.

Winde said there was no doubt that the police did not have enough resources to fight the battle alone.

“There is still a massive hill to climb and no reasonable person would be satisfied that the levels of violence in the Western Cape, and particularly those in affected areas, have now been stabilised.”

‘Proper assessment’

The deployment, News24 reported, commenced on July 18 and runs until Monday, September 16, at a cost of R23m.

On Monday, Mapisa-Nqakula confirmed she had received Winde’s request and that a determination would be made once a “proper assessment of the situation” had taken place.

“Now, I’m sure you know this but we don’t just take that decision because somebody is calling on us to extend or even calling on us to deploy. There has to be a proper assessment of the situation which will then make a determination whether we extend or we don’t extend,” she said during a media briefing in Parliament.

Winde told Ramaphosa that he would like the provincial government to be more involved should his request be granted.

He envisaged a coordinated response from local, provincial, and national government, using a “blended strategy” of law enforcement, community initiatives and social service interventions to targeted groups.

To coordinate all stakeholders – such as the army, provincial government, City of Cape Town, SAPS and National Prosecuting Authority – Winde undertook to convene and chair a “safety cabinet” where a joint plan of action would be developed.

“When the deployment was first made, the Western Cape government was not consulted on how it would be carried out. This is unfortunate as there was very little coordinated planning prior to the event, and no clear terms of reference were discussed with us,” he said.

He said there should be measures to track the impact the deployment was having.

Without having access to stats, Winde said it was not clear whether the army intervention had been successful.

“We are still seeing unacceptably high levels of murder, attempted murder, and other violent crime which need to be urgently addressed.”

Winde wanted access to: the number of serious crimes committed during the operation, the operations conducted, the number and nature of targeted arrests, the number of firearms and ammunition confiscated, the number of “high flyers” arrested, progress on arrests and prosecutions, and information on what approach was being used.

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