UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

CAPE FLATS GANG KILLINGS CONTINUE IRRESPECTIVE OF AD HOC POLICING STRATEGIES

STATEMENT ISSUED BY STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON ON SAFETY AND SECURITY

It is with a sense of disbelief that the people of Manenberg watched this weekend as the police and army flooded their neighbourhood. The blitz netted a paltry amount of drugs and other illegal goods, and resulted in few arrests. The public and the media were promptly informed that the intention was actually a visible policing effort, which supposedly would limit gang activity due to the high presence of security officers. The people of Manenberg justifiably pointed out that when this exercise in futility is abandoned (whether within a day or a week) that they would not see the police again for another year.

It is a waste of time, money and, ultimately, lives to deal with the gangsterism problem in this ad hoc fashion. An example of the failure of this approach is the death on Tuesday of an innocent man caught in the crossfire of two gangs, a single hour after the police had arrested in the same vicinity two gangsters involved in a gun battle.

Until the people of the affected communities are involved and government launches a comprehensive strategy, gangsterism will continue to flourish. Minister Tshwete has promised a sizable portion of his budget for the fight against gangsterism. In the Western Cape, promises galore have been made about this issue by people such as the MEC Hennie Bester, and Provincial Police Commissioner, Lennit Max. All of these bureaucrats have indicated that a new strategy will be launched. Where is it? Surely, this old and useless tactic of sending in hundreds of officers for a short space of time can't be it.

It is time that government develops a comprehensive strategy involving the community to deal with urban terror and gangsterism, with a dedicated budget, supported by a special security unit to ensure timely arrests and convictions. Failure to do so makes government culpable in the death and  destruction that is a daily reality on the Cape Flats.


Enquiries:
Ms Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Spokesperson on Safety and Security
082 - 557 4184

Cape Town
5 July 2001