Africa military set to deploy against Cape Town gangs


Just yesterday, I also wrote to Minister Bheki Cele and top police management to urge them to use all the tools at their disposal to drive out crime, including Section 13 (7) of the SAPS Act, which allows police to cordon off specific areas and conduct search and seizure operations for a period of 24 hours in order to restore public order or to ensure the safety of the public.

South Africa will shortly deploy a battalion of soldiers to help police quell a surge in violence in gang-infested parts of Cape Town, a step normally only taken over the Christmas and New Year period when crime spikes in the city's poorer neighborhoods, Reuters reported.

Cape Town, which is the South African murder capital, has experienced a recent increase in the homicide rate.

Dlamini said the SANDF does not deploy without clear legal instruments in place known as "deployment papers".

For months, community policing forums have been calling for the deployment of more police officers to areas severely affected by gang violence. The military deployment will last 3 months. Cape Town, an global tourist destination with stunning coastal and mountain scenery, has the highest murder rate in the country, according to the latest official crime figures.

"Countless mothers have buried their innocent children and life in these communities has been a never-ending nightmare", it said in a statement.

He says the Crime Summit in Paarl aims to bring various stakeholders together to exchange views and craft sustainable solutions towards combating crime in the Western Cape. Many wealthy people live in fortified homes with high walls topped with electrical wires, CCTV monitoring and armed guards.

Cape Town's gang problem goes back many decades. Similar to Los Angeles, there is an entrenched gang culture with thousands of young men belonging to street gangs with names like 'Hard Living and 'Young Americans.

At least 20 people have been killed in the city since last week. Gareth Newham at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, said: 'It is a short-term, unsustainable response to a crisis.