Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith and local ward councillor Angus McKenzie were chased away from a meeting with Police Minister Bheki Cele and Western Cape Total Shutdown Communities participants in Bonteheuwel on Wednesday. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)

The DA and City of Cape Town have hit back at the ANC and the national government, accusing national Police Minister Bheki Cele of “moral cowardice”.

This after Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith and local ward councillor Angus McKenzie were chased away from a meeting with Cele and Western Cape Total Shutdown Communities participants in Bonteheuwel on Wednesday.

Smith said the organisers of the Total Shutdown movement have a “dishonest narrative” and accused its members of a political agenda.

“I condemn the moral cowardice by Cele. What happened (on Wednesday) was a sad situation. Democracy means that all voices must be heard and we were not afforded that at the meeting.

“I am deeply worried that the genuine concerns of crime-ridden communities are currently being hijacked by political interests, specifically in Bonteheuwel. 

"The plight of residents in crime-ridden communities continues to be undermined by (Cele), who has no solutions to the policing failures and lack of police on our streets,” he said.

Smith added that the province was “purposely starved of resources”.

“And who is to blame for that? How can one get on top of a problem if you are purposely starved of resources? It is now time for inter-governmental relations and we all need to sit and address these issues together,” Smith said.

The ANC Dullah Omar region secretary Vuyiso Tyhalisisu has slammed the City and DA for their lack of accountability, saying it's "unfortunate that the DA has dismissed and ridiculed the people of Bonteheuwel and their engagement with (Cele) and the community as politicking”.

“The DA has consistently failed to respond to the continued pleas from the Cape Flats to address safety issues and fight gang-related crime. 

"It would seem the DA is neither interested in addressing the issues faced by these communities nor are they willing to allow the SAPS to come and speak to people to address these issues,” Tyhalisisu said.