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Decline in Cape metro murder rate but communities not feeling safer, says Winde

File photo: Brendan Magaar / African News Agency (ANA)

File photo: Brendan Magaar / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 19, 2019

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Cape Town – The weekend murder rate has declined by 13 in the Cape Town metro region over the past weekend – from 47 murders the previous weekend to 34.

Of these, 21 were shooting deaths, six due to stabbings and seven as a result of other means.

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This comes as the South African Policing Union (Sapu) called on the SAPS to bring back specialised units to deal with crime in the Western Cape.

The union said deploying the SANDF in the province to gang-ridden areas was not the solution to addressing violent crime.

Sapu’s Tumelo Mogodiseng said the drug unit, along with murder and robbery units, must be launched again as it used to stop the drug lords.

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“For murder and robbery, you cannot have a detective having housebreaking and theft, all these 300 dockets, also again investigating a murder. A murder case… it’s so complicated. It can even take up to five years to be investigated.”

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said on Monday: “We are relieved to see the number of murders declined over the weekend. 

"However, this is of little comfort when 34 families are currently grieving the loss of a loved one. We must be working towards zero and nothing more.”

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“This week, the Western Cape provincial cabinet will be meeting, and safety is once again high on the agenda. We will receive a report from the South African Police Service on crime and safety operations and the use of the SANDF. 

"We want to understand what the police, working with the army, are doing to prevent crime and curb violence. Minister of Police Bheki Cele  has to date offered nothing but cold comfort to our communities. 

"Due to the poor management of SAPS, they have lost control of fight against crime.

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“We are hearing community members on the ground, who were initially positive about the deployment of the army, starting to question their effectiveness, and if communities do not feel safer, then the SANDF and the police are not fulfilling their role and mandate. 

"The national police’s own motto is to ensure that residents 'feel safe' and we are a far cry from that.

“The SANDF were deployed to conduct cordon and search, observation, foot and vehicle patrols as well as to provide air support for troops, with the aim of reducing crime in 10 specified hot spots. 

"With a large number of the deaths this weekend taking place in these hot spots, we have to question whether the promises made to the residents of the Western Cape by the police at the time of the deployment are being kept.”

Five people were murdered in Delft at the weekend; four in Gugulethu; three in Manenberg and Philippi respectively; Khayelitsha, Langa and Harare all two each. 

The remainder of the murders were committed in Athlone, Kraaifontein, Lwandle, Grabouw, Somerset West, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Parow, Philippi East, Steenberg, Lingelethu and Samora Machel.

Minister of Community Safety Albert Fritz said: “While I welcome the decrease in murder statistics compared to previous weekends, it should be noted that murder figures remain high and that the murder of one is the murder of one too many.

“I call on the communities and stakeholders, including neighbourhood watches, farm watches, community policing forums and private security companies to continue in their efforts to safeguard their communities. 

"In this regard, I welcome the appointments made to the newly established Strand Community Safety Forum this Saturday. This CSF will provide the necessary mediation in cases of civil unrest, particularly as they affect issues of safety on the N2. 

“Additionally, I wish to commend the local Farm Watch who worked together with the SAPS to ensure the speedy arrest of the six suspected farm attackers in Malmesbury this weekend past.”

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