Call for police to be honest about shortcomings in fight against Cape Flats crime
Cape Town - Pressure group Action Society said the ongoing war on the Cape Flats – where gangs shoot at each other, harming innocent bystanders, primarily children – will not end before the police start being honest about their shortcomings.
Spokesperson Rineé Pretorius said police misled the provincial standing committee, during a meeting about community safety in the province last month.
Pretorius said the deputy provincial police commissioner Jeremy Vearey said gang members “brag” about their firearms being “legal”, meanwhile they get their hands the guns it through corrupt police officials.
“According to Vearey, sporting licenses were issued for those weapons. It enabled gang members to buy an unlimited amount of ammunition, often more than 10 000 rounds per transaction.
“Doesn’t this raise suspicion with the retailer? Why would one individual need to buy so much ammunition? Shockingly, criminals who kill innocent children and bystanders with random shots get away with this. The real reason they possess firearms will never be entered into the firearm registry,” said Pretorius.
Vearey, in his submission to the committee, referred to gangsters’ possession of licensed firearms, and said they had been obtained through corruption in the Central Firearms Registry (CFR) system, beginning with the station level Designated Firearm Officers (DFOs) and continued right down to people inside the CFR who manipulated the system at head office.
He said the licences were issued in a matter of five to six days, for six fairly expensive weapons at a time.
"An elaborate network of gun dealers, who accepted falsified firearm competency certificates, were involved, and had also been arrested. The case had become a national investigation," he said.
Vearey said security firms were also implicated and had been investigated. In some cases, they had acquired 50 licensed firearms in a week, which had occurred in the Western Cape and Gauteng. He said that matter had led to the arrest of brigadiers and station commanders, and had involved a similar modus operandi.
Just this weekend, two people were shot and killed, and two others wounded, after a shooting that broke out outside Shoprite, in Kuilsriver.
Police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said the incident was believed to be gang-related and that one of the men had been the intended target, while the three other victims were caught in the crossfire.