Cape Times - President Jacob Zuma should tackle gangsterism in Cape Town rather than the plight of the rhino, Patriotic Alliance president Gayton McKenzie said on Wednesday.
“Many more young coloured men are dying every day than the white rhino,” McKenzie said in a letter to Zuma.
“The deaths of the rhino are such a hot topic on government’s agenda that you were willing to send in the army to protect the rhino.”
He said he could not care less about the rhino anymore and wished they could all be “wiped out tomorrow” so that Cape Flats residents received priority.
Something needed to be done because at any given moment in the Western Cape, a child was in a hospital fighting for life after being caught in gang crossfire, he said.
While gangsterism was a socio-economic problem and not a military one, the province needed a short-term solution that could enforce peace.
Proposed as a part of a solution to Zuma was the deployment of the SA Cape Corps Military Veterans Association.
McKenzie said in his letter that the association had more than 72 000 members in the province and were highly trained, experienced and fearless.
Many were without work and waiting for their benefits, he said.
“They still want to contribute. I hear it from them every day. Re-enlist and redeploy these highly trained men and women to keep law and order in our ganglands,” he proposed.
“They can be re-equipped, given refresher courses within a matter of weeks and our communities will be safer immediately.”
He told Zuma that the SA Police Service could not be relied upon or trusted because some officers were themselves members of the gangs.
The Patriotic Alliance leader conceded there was a need for a police-driven gang squad to return but said it would take time to recruit and train trusted officers.
McKenzie claimed his party had managed to negotiate a peace settlement among gangs in Manenberg, Kraaifontein and other areas and were still working on Mitchells Plain and other towns.
“Our peace has a chance, but it cannot be a permanent solution.”