_: The psyche of gangsterism in the Western Cape will never be defeated by police work alone. Gangsterism is a deep seated legacy of more than 200 years and the Western Cape as a whole has various hotspots areas that cut across different communities and races. For this reason, this challenge requires a multi-faceted approach.
Our crime analysis indicates that Manenberg, through intensive and integrated operations has been showing signs of stabilisation over the last three months. However, Nyanga remains the sore point in the province having experienced 100 cases of murders, 62 attempted murders, 47 arrests for illegal possession of firearm/ammunition and 613 for possession of drugs. Comparatively, for the same period, statistics indicate that Manenberg experienced 14 murders, 56 attempted murders, 53 arrests for illegal possession of firearm/ammunition and 1148 for possession of drugs.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape under the leadership of Lieutenant General Arno Lamoer is currently implementing a Gang Combating Strategy that is designed to both combat gang violence as well as eliminate the criminal economy of these gangs. Under the auspices of Operation Combat, which started in July last year the impact has resulted in the stabilisation of Lavender Hill, Grassy Park, Hanover Park and Manenberg.
An increase in deployment and police operations has led to significant decreases in the number of murders. During the period 1 June 2013 to 14 August 2013, there was only one murder in June, 7 in July and 2 in August. 54 firearms had been seised in Manenberg since the beginning of June 2013.
As a result we have now seen gang and drug wars being displaced to other areas such as Delft, Heideveld, Ravensmead, Bishop Lavis, Langa, Athlone, Khayelitsha, Kleinvlei, Gugulethu, Mfuleni, Elsies River and Atlantis.
Since the beginning of January 2013, four prominent gang leaders have been evicted from the area after court orders were obtained in the Cape High Court. This was achieved through working together with the Cape Town Metro through their legal department. Police action and investigation into the activities of those individuals responsible for the present violence continue.
Through high level investigation interventions, police have closed down 13 clandestine drug laboratories, successfully concluded 3 thorough investigations that resulted in the take down of three syndicates. Key gang/drug kingpins are currently being prosecuted.
This is an integrated strategy and what this means is that it incorporates various pillars, such as visible policing, investigations, crime information management and importantly, the support and involvement of communities.
As was the case in Eldorado Park, Gauteng we have noted that the age of drug users is becoming younger and younger. The abuse of drugs leads to high absenteeism and increases in school dropout rates at local schools. Many of the young people referred to drug rehabilitation centres often relapse on return to the area as a result of lack of support structures and the easy availability of drugs.
For us to succeed, we need the partnership of everybody for example, Social Development on the issues of rehabilitation, the Department of Basic Education on matters focusing on those youth who have not been hooked yet and the Department of Health on the implementation of the Drug Master Plan, aimed at reducing demand, harm and supply; focuses more on prevention, early intervention, treatment, after-care and re-integration.
The other important stakeholder is Local Government who must provide recreational facilities, lighting of the streets because lack of such resources, become a breeding ground for crime. The other vital aspect relates to assistance with auditing some the occupants of the council rental houses which have been converted into drug dens. We also need to emphasise the vital role of the entire Economic Cluster, from a point of view of economic development and job creation in these affected areas.
We also need social partners, parents, NGOs, faith-based organisations to help us deal with social factors such as substance abuse, absenteeism and drop out from schools. This affirms what I have been emphasising, that we need a multi-faceted approach that involves everybody because some of these functions cannot be apportioned solely to police.
It is important to highlight all these successes and progress were police operations were mounted precisely because what has been portrayed in the media is as if other areas have been prioritised and others neglected.
For enquiries, please contact:
Spokesperson to the Minister of Police
Cell: 082 045 4024