Following a bloody week where at least 14 people were killed in townships and suburbs on the Cape Flats, Western Cape MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz said has called on the Minister of Police Bheki Cele to intervene.
“It is incredibly concerning that all these deadly crimes are committed, but I want to commend the Blue Downs police officials for arresting 114 people over the weekend. We have to give credit where credit is due just as we should hold the police accountable if they are not doing enough to keep us safe,” he said.
Fritz said violence remains an issue in certain areas, but community members choose to turn a blind eye when they can bring an end to such violence.
“This violence cannot continue in our areas. We as a community know who the perpetrators are but we turn a blind eye out of fear, as much as it is SAPS responsibility to keep us safe, we also have a responsibility to report crimes,” he stress.
Fritz said he would be attending the Provincial Courts Efficiency Committee meeting on Wednesday, where he will again call for the police to act on the high level of violence in the province.
“As the Western Cape government, we will continue to do everything within our power to prevent crime, through our programmes, while working with our communities,” he said.
Fritz said among others, these programmes would prioritise the development of youth, and drive job creation to ensure individuals do not have to resort to a life of crime.
“If we keep our youngsters occupied and employed, they would have no reason to resort to a life of crime,” he said.
Fritz said he questions the Anti-Gang Unit which was deployed to reduce crimes in the area.
“If the Anti-Gang Unit is effective, why are their still so many deaths and crimes recorded in the Western Cape. It is high time that this is reviewed and adjusted according,” he said.
Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith has since called on the City’s Special Investigative Unit to urgently engage with the police’s Anti-Gang Unit.
Fritz emphasised that his call for Cele to intervene is not an attack on the minister but rather a desperate cry for help.
“We need help…this can’t continue. We all have a constitutional right to be safe and right now communities are failed. Something needs to be done,” he reiterated.