Police Minister Bheki Cele and provincial Police Commissioner Khombinkosi Jula were briefed by Brigadier Novela Polelwa following the shooting of six police officers. Photo: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Fed-up Samora Machel community leaders joined the police in their hunt for those behind the shooting of six Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) officers this week.

The incident resulted in the area being on lockdown with police maintaining a heavy presence. The area was identified as a hideout for dangerous criminals.

Head of detectives in the Western Cape Major-General Jeremy Vearey said the 72-hour activation plan entailed 200 officers.

The AGU came under fire in Sweet Home Farm informal settlement near Philippi on Wednesday while pursuing suspects in connection with shootings, where more than six people killed in Samora Michel.

The attack on AGU members came a day after Police Minister Bheki Cele said the unit would be spread in areas identified as hot spots following a spike in murders.

Local community policing forum spokesperson Bongani Maqunguzana said residents were moving freely during the lockdown and were co-operating with the police.

“The police maintained a strong presence in the area where the incident happened and they also spread to other communities.

“We went to informal settlements where we knew the police would have difficulties to gain access and urged the residents to co-operate and share any information they get.

“We made it clear that if they don’t trust the police they can inform us and other community leaders and we will pass it on,” said Maqunguzana.

“We will continue to assist where we can because we want our streets to be clean. Residents are tired of living in fear because armed criminals kick doors in some homes, rob and kill.

“We demand the justice system not to fail us this time and not grant bail on the arrested suspects.

“The people who were terrorising the community were repeat offenders who got out on warnings and bail.”

One of the two suspects wanted for shooting the officers, which saw two seriously injured, was arrested yesterday.

A gun the police believe was used during the incident was also retrieved not far from the scene.

Anyone with information about the incident can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 0860010111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.

Meanwhile the Western Cape SAPS management has commended the efforts of the AGU who seized firearms, an assortment of ammunition and arrested two people in Mfuleni.

“Despite the setback suffered by their fellow colleagues, the unit remains resolute in rooting out serious violent crimes in Cape Town.

“On the same day their colleagues were ambushed and injured in Samora Machel, the AGU’s A shift descended on two premises in Happy Valley in Mfuleni last night (Wednesday),” said police spokesperson FC Van Wyk.

They arrested a 35 year old and seized one norinco star firearm ( with no serial number), five cartridges, one 9mm Bietro Barrett’s, one magazine, eight cartridges, one R5 rifle, two rifle magazines, 27 R5 rounds, 165 9mm rounds, among other items.

In the second premises in the Happy Valley area, they arrested a 64year old suspect, seized an R5 Rifle, four rifle magazines and two sets of handcuffs. 

The suspects will be charged with possession of a prohibited firearm, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and are set to appear in court soon.

Cape Times