Cape Town - The Department of Community Safety says it will be working with local community structures to better support police efforts to address and eradicate ongoing mass shootings in township and Cape Flats communities.
Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen made the statement after a question posed to then acting community safety MEC Anroux Marais by ANC provincial spokesperson on community safety Mesuli Kama regarding the number of mass shootings in the province over the past three years.
Kama’s question revealed that from June 2019 to December 2021, there have been 442 mass shootings in the Western Cape. Mass shootings are identified as the killing of three or more people in the same incident.
Speaking about the number of massacres, Allen said he was deeply concerned about the figure, which represented the deaths of 1 626 people, half of which were shot and killed in alleged gang-related incidents.
“In response to the alarming number of mass shooting incidents recorded in the province, the department has deployed a large group of Law Enforcement and Peacekeeping) Leap officers strategically placed in areas where these incidents and gang violence are rife.
“We have already seen how the murder rate in Nyanga has significantly reduced. That is why we deployed 150 Leap officers in Khayelitsha, and 68 are on the ground in Mitchells Plain.
“However, our efforts are not ours alone, and we see the difference made through working partnerships with local community safety structures, such as the community policing forums (CPF), neighbourhood watches (NHW) and other stakeholders,” said Allen.
Allen said, besides the department’s interventions, it was prudent that when arrests are carried out, convictions followed – as this would send a strong and clear message to perpetrators to not be involved in the criminal incidents.
“The whole of society has a role to play, not just the department and the police. So we call on society to assist us by reporting these incidents so that these massacres, as well as other crimes, can be brought to an end,” Allen said.