Social Justice Coalition activists marched to Parliament to deliver a memorandum to Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole as the crime statistics were released yesterday. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - A 7-year-old Manenberg boy was caught in cross-fire during a suspected gang-related shooting which led to one resident being killed and another injured.

“Circumstances surrounding a shooting incident are being investigated after a 32-year-old male was shot and fatally wounded and a 28- and 7-year-old, both males, were shot and wounded in Towerkop Street,” said police spokesperson Wesley Twigg.

The shooting took place on the eve of the 2017/2018 National Annual Crime Statistics presented by Ministry of Police Bheki Cele which said 83% of all gang-related murders in South Africa took place in the Western Cape.

Head of police crime research and statistics Norman Sekhukhune said out of the 973 gang-related crimes committed countrywide, a total of 808 were reported in the Western Cape, over the period, with the Eastern Cape markedly lower in second place at 87.

Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole said the priority was to beef up specialised units and police stations and intensify strategies to deal with gangs.

Social Justice Coalition (SJC) activists marched to Parliament to deliver a memorandum to Sitole yesterday.

The organisation said the government continued to release station-level statistics once a year, despite a decision by the Cabinet, in 2016, to release the SAPS crime statistics quarterly.

The Khayelitsha Commission found, in 2014, that improved access to crime statistics could improve the relationship between police and residents, and build trust, said the SJC.

Police identified 26 gang stations in the province, of which 23 were found in the City of Cape Town metro, mostly concentrated around the Cape Flats.

About 45% of murders occur in the 26 gang-related precincts, 56.48% of attempted murders are in the 26 gang-affected areas, 57% of firearm-related offences take place in the gang stations and 44.3% of drug-related offences are in the same precincts.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said the stats showed residents in the Western Cape continue to be exposed to “unacceptably” high levels of crime, specifically crimes relating to interpersonal violence which he said he believed to be fuelled by the scourge of gangsterism, drugs and gun violence.

He added that a marked difference had been seen when additional resources and personnel from across the country were deployed recently during Operation Thunder in the Western Cape.

Cape Times