CONCERNED: DA leader Mmusi Maimane during an unannounced visit to Nyanga police station. Picture: Jason Felix
Cape Town - DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on government to bring back the gang units, police reservists and to deploy the army to gang-ravaged areas.

He said some South Africans lived in communities hardest hit by violent crime are receiving the least protection from government.

Maimane visited the Nyanga police station as part of his oversight on Tuesday and received a briefing from management.

“This police station here in Nyanga serves a community that suffers the worst assault from violent criminals anywhere in South Africa, and yet it remains under-resourced.

“The people who live in Nyanga face the highest numbers of murder, rape and assault yet they have the fewest police officers per residents in the country. In Nyanga there is only one police officer for every 628 residents. The national average is one police officer for every 369 people.”

Earlier this year, Police Minister Bheki Cele said the army wouldn’t be deployed to gang areas. However, he said specialised units would be used to bolster local police.

Maimane said the Western Cape was under-resourced in terms of police officer numbers compared to the rest of the country. “In Cape Town the situation is getting worse. Two years ago there was one police officer for every 439 people. Today it’s one police officer for every 560 people.

How is this possible? Must we accept this unjust allocation of police resources from national government? Must we simply accept that a place like Nyanga will forever be known as the murder capital of the country?”

Maimane got a briefing from Brigadier Vuyisile Ncata who also took him on a tour of the police station. He visited holding cells and was briefed on social ills like alcohol abuse that were adding to the list of crimes. 

“Let us bring the numbers of police officers in Cape Town’s crime-ridden townships in line with the rest of the country. Let us re-introduce the specialised gang and drugs units, as was promised years ago. Let us bring back police reservists. And, most importantly, let us deploy the army to the areas worst hit by gang violence. Not to replace the police on the streets, but to help stabilise the situation and free police up to do their job of investigating and making arrests,” he said.

@JasonFelix

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Cape Argus