Police Minister Bheki Cele Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Philippi East community leaders have called on the city council and national government to put their political differences aside and share resources to deal with the killings in the area and neighbouring communities.

A Law Enforcement Neighbourhood Safety Team (NST) officer was shot and injured in the area a day after the killing of 11 people in less than 24 hours at the weekend.

The city council’s law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyson said the officer was expected to undergo an operation to remove the bullet in his leg yesterday.

“At about 5.15pm on Monday, members of the NST were driving down Symphony Way in Philippi East when they came across two groups of people standing on opposite sides of the road. Suddenly the groups opened fire on each other.

“The officers approached the scene and one suspect shot at the approaching law enforcement vehicle.”

The groups fled the scene and were yet to be arrested.

The brazen attack occurred about two hours after Police Minister Bheki Cele visited angry residents and grieving families of the 11 people killed.

In the neighbouring Khayelitsha three people, two women and a man aged between 23 and 30, were shot dead in RR Section on Monday night.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said detectives were following up on various leads in all the cases.

Philippi East community leader Vuyokazi Songema called on the city council to assist the government with the resources, such as the ShotSpotter programme it gave to other areas, including Hanover Park, experiencing gang violence on the Cape Flats.

“Criminals are in control of our streets shooting whenever they want.

“They are so brave that they no longer kill people at night but also in broad daylight. The problem has escalated so much that the government’s efforts are overshadowed.

“All we see is them just playing politics. The city must provide lighting and CCTVs where needed,” she said.

The city council’s multi-million rand ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection technology pilot project that was launched in Hanover Park five years ago, is an audio version of a CCTV camera, which listens to crime instead of looking at it.

The technology pinpoints locations where shots are fired within 30 seconds, allowing for a rapid response.

Mayoral commitee member for safety and security JP Smith said: “There are CCTV cameras in the pipeline for Philippi.

“It is unfortunate that the perception still exists in some quarters that the city does not do enough in poorer areas that are ravaged by gangsterism, because this is simply not true.”