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Angry Cape Flats residents say SANDF functioning as 'headless chickens'

Religious leaders and congregants take to the streets of Manenberg marching for peace, after two people were killed at the weekend. Monique Duval

Religious leaders and congregants take to the streets of Manenberg marching for peace, after two people were killed at the weekend. Monique Duval

Published Jul 30, 2019


Cape Town - Angry residents from the Cape’s gang-ridden communities said the SANDF was not bringing stability to their areas, where they were functioning like “headless chickens”.

A community activist from Bonteheuwel, Henriette Abrahams, said it had been more than a week since the deployment of the army, but the soldiers were “not stabilising our communities, because we continue to live in a war zone and our children continue to lose their lives”.

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Abrahams said the SANDF forces were not deployed efficiently enough.

“It’s useless for them to have a two- to three-hour operation and leave the area again.

“The criminals are aware of this and exploit their operational inefficiencies and continue with their gang activities.”

She said the communities needed base camps with 24-hour operations.

Community Police Forum chairperson Sandy Schuter said she once noted the army in Strandfontein, “but they didn’t know where to go, like headless chickens”.

“They had police with them, not from our area, which is good, but they were not properly briefed.”

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Schuter asked where the crime intelligence-driven operations were. She said they “come for 30 minutes and disappear”.

“Who is the brains behind this? Because these poor officers are clueless. I don’t blame them, they were not being briefed with proper intelligence,” she said.

According to Premier Alan Winde and Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, weekend murder statistics for the metro region have shown an increase from last weekend, but a declining trend from previous pay day weekends.

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Winde said a total of 46 people were murdered over the weekend, with 21 shootings, 20 stabbings and five murders by other causes, showing an increase from the 25 murders recorded by the province’s forensics services last weekend.

He said there were also several reports of shootings in which residents were injured.

Among those shot and injured were two children aged 6 and 16.

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He said they were concerned that following a quieter weekend last weekend, to coincide with the first deployment of SANDF troops, “we have seen a sharp increase in murder numbers again”.

“What these numbers underline is that we cannot rely on the SANDF alone to help solve the problem of crime in the province.

“The police, all levels of government and the public all have a role to play in helping to reduce the scourge of crime on our city,” Winde said.


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Cape Argus

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