While Cape Flats residents continue to call on authorities to remedy the unparalleled levels of crime that has imprisoned communities, recent gang activity in Delft has shocked residents. Nestled on the outskirts of the Cape Flats, the township in the month of August was rocked by the murder of 31 individuals, 29 of which were the result of gang violence. The murders occurred between the sectors of Roosendaal and Suburban. In response to the scourge of violence, Delft residents and the local Community Police Forum (CPF) have vowed to take back their streets.
For an update on the latest the developments, VOC spoke to the acting chairperson of the Delft Cluster Community Police Forum (CPF), Reginald Maart.
Maart explains that the CPF and the South African Police Service (SAPS) has hosted numerous meetings with stakeholders, including Metro Police, community and religious leaders, and residents.
He says that while the recent incidents are unprecedented in the history of the area, SAPS and Metro Police officials have stepped up and are supporting the community.
“But, the support that we got from the CPF cluster plays a major role in combating the crimes,” Maart added.
Maart confirms that the CPF, with the support of all role players, was able to confiscate 15 firearms, 95 dangerous weapons, and ammunition.
“So there is a good success rate in this intervention. We have the police detective working round the clock to ensure that we catch the perpetrators,” he stated.
Maart notes that while the poor lighting within the area allows criminal activity to flourish, the level of crime is greatly impacted by the dire socioeconomic circumstances that plague residents, with unemployment standing at 43 per cent.
In a meeting held on Thursday evening, Maart says that the CPF called upon the continued support of all law enforcement bodies to eradicate crime within the community and requested the support of government departments.
In light of the sudden surge in crime stats, he notes that the release of a number of inmates belonging to the 26 gang instigated the recent violent flare-up in the area, which is dominated by the 28 gang.
Describing the area as a “dumping ground”, Maart says that since offenders of murder and drug dealing are generally not welcomed back into their communities, the department habitually relocates them to delft.
“That is why we need to set up a meeting with the Department of Correctional Services because it releases people without notifying the CFP, we know the area and the type of crime within the area,” Maart asserts.
In addition, he says that the CPF has called upon the Department of Education and principals to assist in preventing gangs and drug dealers from poaching school goers into a life of crime.
“They pull in our young expelled kids between the age of 13 and 17, kids that can’t go to jail. They use these kids to carry their firearms and sell the drugs. That is why we need to try and put them into a youth programme or back into school,” Maart continued.
The Delft CPF is scheduled to meet with stakeholders on Monday and will conduct walkabouts on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as random stop-and-search operations.
VOC requested a response from Minister of Community Safety within the Western Cape, Dan Plato, but he was unavailable for comment.