Parliament - Gangsterism and other forms of organised crime pose a threat to the legitimacy and the stability of the state, the state security ministry warned on Thursday.
"It is actually our observation that if we don't deal decisively with gangsterism, it is likely to undermine the legitimacy of the state, as we have heard in the complaints of people not only in the Western Cape but throughout. We are talking about PE, the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth, Westbury in Johannesburg," Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa told reporters in Cape Town.
Kodwa's remark came a week after Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that the army would be deployed to parts of the Cape Flats to help the police combat a surge in gang-related crime, including murders.
The acting director-general of state security, Loyiso Jafta, concurred that there were already signs of the erosion of the state by entrenched gangsterism.
"The truth is, and we have already seen elements of this, it does displace the formal structures of the state and once it happens, those who are benefiting, like getting health care, education, etc, etc, will have a diminished view of the state, but those who are standing outside of it will also see a very, very weak state and therefore the legitimacy and the integrity of the state will be severely subtracted from."