NEWS & ANALYSIS

Weekend murder rate shows some improvement – Alan Winde

34 reported in the metro region of the WCape over the past weekend

Weekend murder rate shows some improvement but Cele must provide answers

19 August 2019

The weekend murder rate has declined from 47 murders last weekend, to 34 reported in the metro region of the Western Cape over the past weekend.

Of these, 21 deaths were as a result of shootings, six as a result of stabbings, and seven as a result of other means.

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde said “We are relieved to see the number of murders declined over the weekend, however, this is of little comfort when 34 families are currently grieving the loss of a loved one. We must be working towards zero, and nothing more.”

This week, the Western Cape Provincial Cabinet will be meeting, and safety is once again high on the agenda. We will receive a report from the South African Police Services on crime and safety operations and the use of the SANDF. We want to understand what the police, working with the army, are doing to prevent crime and curb violence. Minister of police, Bheki Cele, has to date offered nothing but cold comfort to our communities. Due to the poor management of SAPS, they have lost control of fight against crime.”

We are hearing community members on the ground, who were initially positive about the deployment of the army, starting to question their effectiveness, and if communities do not feel safer, then the SANDF and the police are not fulfilling their role and their mandate. The national police’s own motto is to ensure that residents’ “feel safe”, and we are a far cry from that.”

The SANDF were deployed to conduct cordon and search, observation, foot and vehicle patrols as well as to provide air support for troops, with the aim of reducing crime in ten specified hot spots. With a large number of the deaths this weekend taking place in these hot spots, we have to question whether the promises made to the residents of the Western Cape by the police at the time of the deployment, are being kept.”

Five people were murdered in Delft over the weekend, and four in Gugulethu. Three murders each were recorded in Manenberg and Philippi. Khayelitsha, Langa and Harare all recorded two murders each. The remainder of the murders were committed in Athlone, Kraaifontein, Lwandle, Grabouw, Somerset West, Mfuleni, Mitchell’s Plain, Nyanga, Parow, Philippi East, Steenberg, Lingelethu and Samora Machel.

MEC of Community Safety, Albert Fritz said: “While I welcome the decrease in murder statistics as compared to previous weekends, it should be noted that murder figures remain high and that the murder of one is the murder of one too many.

I call on the communities and stakeholders, including neighbourhood watches, farm watches, community policing forums and private security companies to continue in their efforts to safeguard their communities. In this regard, I welcome the appointments made to the newly established Strand Community Safety Forum this Saturday. This CSF will provide the necessary mediation in cases of civil unrest, particularly as they affect issues of safety on the N2.

Additionally, I wish to commend the local Farm Watch who worked together with the SAPS to ensure the speedy arrest of the six suspected farm attackers in Malmesbury this weekend past.”

Issued by Bianca Capazorio, Spokesperson for Premier Alan Winde, 19 August 2019