S.Africa military set to deploy against Cape Town gangs

Law enforcement officers deployed to Philippi

Keeping operational information close to his chest, SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said all the legal paperwork from their side had been processed so that the support Police Minister Bheki Cele announced on Thursday would be in line with the Constitution.

Authorities in South Africa have deployed the army to townships in the port city of Cape Town to deal with an upsurge of gang violence. It is therefore more pressing than ever that we continue to drive our inter-governmental dispute with Minister Cele on policing allocation and resourcing, and we will continue to fight for provincial control of the police service.

At least 13 people were killed in 24 hours last weekend in one of the violence-hit parts of the city.

We welcome the employment of the SANDF in areas of the Cape Flats from tonight, as authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to stabilise communities that have been ravaged by a major spike in gang activity and crime.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde at the crime summit.

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On 02:00 yesterday morning National Police Commissioner Kehla Sitole will give a "big contingent" of police and metro police officers their marching order to "seal" areas where gang violence is rife.

"We'll go door to door, we'll collect every illegal firearm, we'll collect all criminals that we want, we'll collect all outstanding criminals that have been on bail", Mr Cele told local media. Cele said the 'intense deployment of the military would last three months.

Known mainly for its stunning tourist attractions, including Robben Island and Table Mountain, Cape Town also has some of the country's highest murder rates.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on Friday welcomed the deployment of troops to help quell gang violence in the worst affected crime areas in the Western Cape province. Many wealthy people live in fortified homes with high walls topped with electrical wires, CCTV monitoring and armed guards. Mgobozi added that the preparation was necessary to ensure troops were ready before they headed into Cape Town's crime-ridden suburbs.

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". Gareth Newham at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, said: 'It is a short-term, unsustainable response to a crisis.

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