Police Minister Bheki Cele Photo: Henk Kruger / African News Agency

Cape Town – Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie was not impressed with Police Minister Bheki Cele trumpeting yesterday that 1 004 suspects had been arrested for various crimes, including murder, attempted murder, armed robberies and hijackings since July 12. 

McKenzie said on social media: "Absolutely worthless information. With a 3% conviction rate, 1 000 (out) of 1 004 are probably already back on our streets."

Cele claimed crime levels in the Western Cape were stabilising amid the deployment of the military around Cape Town and the police were committed to reducing these further.

But McKenzie pointed out that "yet another horrendous weekend of murders across Cape Town has seen 47 lose their lives".

Bonteheuwel remains a beacon of hope on the Cape Flats with yet another murder-free weekend.

"In six weeks we have had one murder and it is credit to the amazing work been done by the Neighbourhood Safety Team in Bonteheuwel and the awesome positive people in Bonteheuwel.

"Despite army deployment we have seen the murder rate spike, another sad ANC failure towards our people. But in Bonteheuwel, where we have boots on the ground, consistent visible patrolling and a strong working relationship with the community, we are winning the war against gangsterism and drugs.

"Bonteheuwel is slowly but surely taking back its community and the brilliant partnership with the City is showing results, which speak for itself. Bonteheuwel is changing daily."

Cele said the successes of Operation Lockdown, the code name for the deployment of the military around Cape Town, included the arrest of 806 wanted criminals and the apprehension of 20 notorious gang members. 

Police and military have confiscated 45 firearms, 1,036 rounds of ammunition, 78 knives and an assortment of drugs, the minister said.

However, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said he would write to police management to ascertain how it intends to deal with the violent crime crisis.

“Violence like we’ve seen over the past weekend impacts the whole province and all areas of government. We have seen the strain that violence is placing on our health system, with massive increases in gunshot injuries resulting in other surgeries which are not life-threatening, being pushed back. 

“We see the impact of violence on children and teachers in schools and it impacts our ability as a province to attract the investment we need in order to grow the economy and create jobs which assist in solving the crime crisis in this province,” Winde said.