Cape Town - A law-enforcement officer is in critical condition after being stabbed in the forehead when, along with his colleagues, they were attacked by a group of informal settlement dwellers in Woodstock.
According to Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith, three law-enforcement officers were patrolling along Beach Road in Woodstock on Tuesday when they were flagged down by a person who had just been robbed. The officers spotted the suspects fleeing on foot and gave chase.
Out of the group, the trio caught one suspect on the MyCiti Bus route under the Lower Church Street Bridge. As they attempted to apprehend the suspect and make an arrest, members of the illegal informal settlement who were close by started to attack them.
“Unfortunately, the officers were outnumbered and that’s when one of them got stabbed. Also, the suspects attempted to disarm the officer, but fortunately he was able to secure his firearm. He was then transported to receive medical attention for the laceration on his forehead,” said Smith.
“The officer is currently in stable condition and this follows a string of recent attacks in the City of Cape Town in the line of duty. I want to make it clear that we will ensure the perpetrators are held accountable for the attack on our staff,” he said.
U-watch Neighbourhood Watch secretary Rob Marshall said they were saddened to see yet another attack occurring in Woodstock originating from the numerous informal settlements being hosted on Prasa land.
He said earlier this month, a murder of a man in the same area demonstrated an urgent need for an intervention by the landowners to secure their assets so they are no longer a source of violence and gangsterism.
“Our residents often use these same roads to access the Woodstock drop-off facility or to commute to the many businesses in the area.
“Even accessing via a car, residents feel intimidated and threatened by men staying in these informal settlements as they jump onto vehicles to remove scrap metal or other valuable items. The roads area has degraded to such an extent that it is essentially a no-go area after dark.
“We trust the law-enforcement officer recovers quickly. Any attacks on our safety and security stakeholders, whether it’s private security, NHW members or those from SAPS and law-enforcement is unacceptable and is a sad reflection on our communities.”