S.Africa military deployed to quell Cape Town gang crime

20 Juillet, 2019, 10:36 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • A convoy of South African army vehicles drives through a street in Cape Town as part of the deployment

Cele identified 10 key areas where army deployment could help police, including Manenberg, Bishop Lavis, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga and Delft.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday defended the deployment of the army to areas in Cape Town hit hard by gang violence which has claimed dozens of lives over the past few weeks.

For the last two to three days the commanders of the South African police and the defence force have been engaging, interacting, orientating the SANDF to see whether the equipment that is available at hand will be able to do the work.

Bloodshed over the past seven months in mainly poor black and mixed-race areas has killed more than 2,000 people, nearly half gang-related, provincial officials said. A Reuters cameraman followed the convoy of armoured personnel carriers, with an estimated 200 soldiers, from Manenberg to another crime hotspot, Hanover Park. Our reporter Mariska Botha is there and we cross to her now.

"It's like we are living in jail and they are free".

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Nadia Hopley, 36, an unemployed mother of four, said she hoped that the army's presence would make the area safer for children. "Since the shootings have intensified, the local hospital closes in the evening and medical help is further away".

Communities in those districts often bear the brunt of violence spread over a vast area called the Cape Flats, where high rates of unemployment and drug abuse have increased gang activity. "We must stand with the army to take our community back", Jantjies told the AFP.

Police minister Bheki Cele said murders in the Western Cape province, which includes Cape Town, increased 6.3 percent from 3,729 to 3,963 during the year to April 2019.

Famous for its stunning tourist attractions, including Robben Island and Table Mountain, Cape Town has some of South Africa's highest murder rates, with 3,674 murders recorded in the Western Cape a year ago, according to police statistics.

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