Residents of violence-torn townships in the larger Cape Town metropole can expect the police and army to come knocking at their doors after President Cyril Ramaphosa approved a request for the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) following a sharp increase in murders in the city.
Police Minister Bheki Cele, during a debate on the SA Police Service budget in the National Assembly on Thursday night, announced the SANDF would join a large police contingent to be deployed to several policing precincts.
“We’ll do that at Khayelitsha, Philippi, East Harare, Gugulethu, Mfuleni, Kraaifontein, Mitchells Plain, Bishop Lavis, Delft, Elsies River, Nyanga…where people have been dying,” Cele told MPs.
“We’ll go door to door, we’ll collect every illegal firearm, we’ll collect all criminals that we want, we’ll collect all outstanding criminals that have been on bail and that is happening from two o’clock this [Friday] morning.”
During a media briefing following the debate, Cele said he would be addressing a large contingent of officers at 2am on Friday morning ahead of their deployment. Members of the SANDF would join officers a few hours later.
“If you keep the illegal firearms and you think you will sleep peaceful, it can’t happen, we’ll knock at your door. If you refuse to open, we’ll open the door. We’ll ask to pull up your mattress. If you refuse, we’ll pull it up with you.”
This was part of “extraordinary” measures to be deployed following a bloody weekend in the Mother City’s townships. At least 13 people were killed in shootings in Philippi East.
South Africa’s murder rate increased by seven percent during the April 2017 to March 2018 reporting period, with a reported 57 people killed a day.
A high number of gang shootings in the Western Cape recently saw the province maintain its reputation of being South Africa’s murder capital. Of the 10 policing precincts where the highest murder rates were recorded, seven were in the Western Cape.
– African News Agency (ANA)