Western Cape community safety MEC Alan Winde. File photo: Courtney Africa / African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Western Cape MEC for Community Safety, Alan Winde, said the murder count in the Western Cape for March 2019 is 341 compared to 343 in March 2018 and this continues to be alarming.

Winde, in a statement on Monday, said these are the numbers despite the Minister of Police Bheki Cele claiming that "interventions are yielding success".

"Between 1 November 2018, the day before the anti-gang unit was launched, and 31 March 2019, 1,567 have been murdered in the Western Cape," Winde said.

This figure is based on the provincial health department's mortuary statistics.

"Minister Cele’s leadership has not moved the needle on ten murders per day in our province, yet he claims there is no need for any further intervention. He can easily say this because he sits in his comfortable office in Pretoria, 1,500km away from the issues we face. Minister Cele should remove his blinkers and start to address our crisis immediately," said Winde.

According to Winde, 140 people died of fatal shootings and 152 died as a result of sharp objects.

Death by a sharp object increased substantially year-on-year, from 138 in March 2018.

"As with the previous figures, I will raise these with minister Cele. It’s become crystal clear that the current police strategies are not effective. I would like to reiterate to minister Cele that our offer of R5 million to reignite the police reservist programme, is still available. The offer of our own employees as Commissioners of Oaths, is also on the table, awaiting police management go-ahead," Winde said

"We urgently need the minister’s green light on these matters, so that we can increase police patrols in our worst affected communities, but I don’t expect it will come. What we need is close lines of accountability, the ability to respond to local conditions more rapidly, and to unbundle the mess that the national minister has made. We need to decentralise the police service, and take it away from the ANC, to build a #SaferWesternCape."

African News Agency (ANA)