The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) Western Cape has called President Cyril Ramaphosa to axe Minister of Police Bheki Cele of his duties and for Premier Alan Winde to dismiss MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz. Sanco has accused the ministers of failing to implement a proper plan to deal with the unprecedented increase in gang violence on the Cape Flats.
“The Cape Flats in the Western Cape Province continues to be a warzone, with innocent lives being lost and communities being destroyed. Minister Cele and MEC Fritz, as the accountable political leadership, must face the consequences for their failure to implement working solutions for the impasse of ridding our communities from gangs and crime. There must be political accountability for the loss of lives. Following international trends and our own resolve to hold our leaders accountable Minister Cele and MEC Fritz must vacate their respective offices,” said Sanco chairperson Thando Dedezana.
The organisation believes the decision to deploy the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was a “quick-fix solution” which has had no meaningful impact or improvement to the safety of communities. Last weekend, 47 murders were reported in Cape Town, despite the presence of the army in certain communities.
“Communities have also indicated that gangs have resorted to alternative means of conducting their criminal activities, unabated, even though SANDF has been deploy and is present. More frustrating, is that those criminals that are apprehended are not facing the full might of the law, instead they are being set free soon after their arrest,” said Dedezana.
“SANCO has repeatedly stated that the socio-economic realities faced by the majoring of our communities in the Western Cape province, and Cape Town in particular have propelled people to seek sanctuary with gangs and a life of crime.”
He said the lived-realities of our communities needs a holistic socio-political approach instead of “heavy-handed draconian measures reminiscent of the dark days of apartheid”.
“We need political leadership that efficiently, diligently and with accountability carries out their duties. Minister Cele and MEC Fritz must be held accountable for the loss of lives and the continued war-zone that is on the Cape Flats. We urge President Ramaphosa and Premier Winde to heed our call and replace both Minister Cele and MEC Fritz with better leaders.”