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End gang violence in the Western Cape

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Gang violence in the Western Cape: Petition

There has been a spike in gang violence over the last few months in many Cape communities, including Delft, Manenberg and Mitchell’s Plain. Many innocent bystanders, including young children, have been injured and killed in the crossfire between gangsters.

President Jacob Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa are not doing enough for communities that are suffering from gang violence and shootings every day.

The law says that policing is the sole responsibility of the national government which has a duty to prevent crime, protect our communities and to make sure gangsters are caught and put behind bars.

But there are not enough police officers in the Western Cape. Last year Minister Mthethwa admitted that there is a shortage of more than 1000 police members in the province. The lack of visible policing on our streets means gangsters are free to terrorise our communities. It also means that police do not have the resources to investigate crimes and make sure enough gangsters are arrested, convicted and put in jail.

The people of the Western Cape say:  enough is enough. This loss of innocent life must stop.

President Jacob Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa must act now to make our streets safe again.

We, the undersigned, therefore call on them to: 
1. Reinstate specialised drug- and gang police units. These units achieved great success in the past and will assist the SAPS in curbing the gang violence.

2. Re-employ existing police reservists to support the SAPS in patrolling streets immediately. The number of times paid reservists were used by the SAPS in the Western Cape dropped from over 22,000 in 2008 to only 2,759 in 2012 and the number continues to decline.

3. Re-employ the army as a peacekeeping force under the control of the police as a short-term measure in gang hotspots. The presence of the army would stabilise areas to give the police the space to conduct investigations and ensure gang members responsible for this violence are brought to justice. We need peace in our communities so that other services can be delivered. We must make sure that all citizens can go to work and that children can go to school.

This is the only way we can ensure the safety of our loved ones and put an end to fear in our communities.

 



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