A manhunt has been launched following a brazen attack on six Anti-Gang Unit members in Samora Machel in Nyanga on Wednesday morning. Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa says the officers were on a tracing operation in the Sweet Home Farm Informal Settlement.
“They were patrolling the area and have already arrested one suspect allegedly linked to murders in the area. As they were busy looking for the second suspect, shots came from a nearby shack and as a result, six of our members were injured. Two of them were seriously shot,” she said.
Potelwa said the members were taken to a nearby hospital for further observation.
”Our members have been admitted to hospital. As the police, we have launched a manhunt for the suspects. The area is difficult to access with a terrain that is poorly lit, and shacks erected close to each other. The area is also a hide-out for dangerous criminals. Recently a spate of murders took place in the area.”
Minister of Community Safety Albert Fritz has since condemned the attack saying community members should not allow attacks on police officials to become a norm.
“I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to our Anti-Gang Unit, all other SAPS units as well as our Municipal Police who serve with total commitment and bravery under the most trying conditions. At the same time, I condemn in the strongest possible terms this attack by nameless individuals who are intent on trying to create conditions where their criminality and murderous activities become the norm. We shall not allow this to happen,” he stated.
The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) said the strategic deployment of police within communities, and the visibility of police in the spaces where and when crime is known to occur, can have a profound effect on not only reducing the brazenness of criminality but also on how communities see the police.
The SJC said this is self-evident and yet many people living in South Africa, especially those living in some of the most violent spaces in South Africa, feel they hardly ever see or are able to engage with the police.