Cape Town - A specialist police team has been appointed to quell violence in Philippi East near Nyanga in Cape Town after 11 people were shot dead in the Marikana informal settlement in the area on Friday night, the South African Police Service (SAPS) said.
Western Cape police commissioner Lt-Gen Khombinkosi Jula had placed the Philippi East police station precinct under the care of deputy commissioner Maj-Gen Mpumelelo Manci, Brigadier Novela Potelwa said on Saturday.
"This follows last night's [Friday] incident where 10 people were shot dead in four scenes in the Marikana informal settlement. Later in the evening, another person died in hospital from gunshot wounds sustained in the attack.
"Earlier in the week seven people were killed in what was believed to be vigilante murders. Maj-Gen Manci has vast years of experience and previously worked in Nyanga as a station commissioner. He will be supported by a team comprising specialist detectives, intelligence operatives, and high risk units such as [the] tactical response team (TRT) members, national intervention unit (NIU), and other forces."
Forces on the ground were currently executing search operations that would continue throughout the weekend. "An appeal is made to community members with information to come forward and assist the police investigation initiated," Potelwa said.
Earlier, the African National Congress condemned "in the harshest possible terms" the killings in overnight violence in the Marikana informal settlement.
"While the details around these deaths are still not quite clear, regardless of the circumstances these mass murders - related or not - are criminal acts which must be punished using the full might of our law," ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said.
"The ANC calls on the community of Marikana, Phillipi, Nyanga, and anyone else to come forward with any information they may have to assist the SAPS apprehend the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. Criminals live among our communities, they are harboured by us, and until society stands as one against this scourge it will not be defeated," Kodwa said.
African News Agency