Cape Town - There has been an outcry on social media after shootings in Philippi over the weekend left 13 people dead. The high numbers of deaths have again sparked calls for the army, or for a more effective plan to help curb the murders.
The state of violence on the Cape Flats has been an increasingly hot topic with more residents calling for the deployment of the army but Police Minister Bheki Cele has denied that the army is needed, and has been touting the use of the Anti-Gang Unit.
Cele dismissed calls for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) as recently as last month after visiting the family of a 34-year-old police officer was shot dead in Lavender Hill back after his police vehicle came under fire.
“The army is not trained to deal with civilians, the rate of crime in the Western Cape has not reached the point that necessitates the deployment of the SANDF,” he said at the time.
He said the idea was only touted by political parties that did not want to visit the same communities, and that he would be working to increase the number of police in the area.
On Monday morning, Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz also condemned the recent attacks that have taken place.
Minister Fritz said: “Between midnight Friday and 06:00 today, there were 55 unnatural deaths which resulted from gunshot wounds and sharp objects in the Province, 33 of which were in the Metro West region. We are indeed facing a crisis. In June 2018, there were 344 alleged murder admissions; however, in June 2019, there were 448. Of the 448 admissions, 369 were in the Metro.
"The figures are deeply chilling and it is for this reason that I have called on SANDF to be immediately deployed to our communities. In the past, communities have called for a state of emergency and this is something that the National Government needs to consider in a bid to bring peace to the area,” Fritz said.
Many on Facebook and Twitter have been weighing in with users saying that no real action has been taken to solve the attacks.
Hein Abrahams: "The only solution is the army. Wake up people, please. Whoever said the police can handle things needs to be lectured. The police's hands are tied."
Leon G Pather: "So sad that the lives lost like this."
Neville Korkee: "They just respond when some of their members are involved in shootings."
Miller Other: "This has been an ongoing problem with no solution."
Beverley Kennedy: "The cops are afraid of the skollies (gangsters)."
Martinaglia Andre: "The problem with this country is, one needs a policeman on every street corner."
Rochelle Healy: "Call in the Army!!! Enough is Enough!!! The people are fed up and the government is doing nothing about it?! Why???!!!"
It's up to the people of the Cape Flats isn't it?
Do they really want to see peace? Because if they do it means curfews, road blocks, random searches, confiscating illegal weapons and arresting those in possession, closing shabeens and going after drug dealers and gangsters..
Lastly, the army's intervention is needed. Cape Flats are a war zone, more people die weekly than areas where there are civil wars. Not only in the Western Cape, but Gauteng and KZN also. We must take back all the major cities and make them safe again.#capeflats
The Cape Flats have been in turmoil, why can’t military forces be allocated there? Why can’t we have specialized intelligence units in place to infiltrate the gangs and stop the violence? It’s not like Mabena and the gents have anything better to do.