The Western Cape South African Police Services (SAPS) has instated a 72-hour action plan and lockdown on the Cape Flats following several incidents of shooting since last Friday. This plan includes a lockdown of the area as well as the deployment of various police units.
SAPS public order police (POP), K9 unit members and Flying Squad members have been deployed.
According to reports, authorities were alerted to the gruesome discovery of the bodies of six women between the ages of 18 and 26 years old at a home in Marcus Garvey. A further five men were shot dead in a separate incident the following evening. The victims were aged between 18 and 39 years of age. Another was wounded during the incident.
“The motive for these shooting incidents remains the subject of an intensive police investigation,” SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said in a statement. “Western Cape police undertake to ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and safety, as well as calm, restored in the area. A further appeal is made to community members to remain calm and allow the police to apprehend those involved.”
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has condemned in the strongest terms the rampant killings which occurred in Philippi and elsewhere on the Cape Flats over the weekend.
“Between midnight Friday and 6am today, there were 55 unnatural deaths which resulted from gunshot wounds and sharp objects in the Province, 33 of which were in the Metro West region. We are indeed facing a crisis. In June 2018, there were 344 alleged murder admissions – however, in June 2019, there were 448. Of the 448 admissions, 369 were in the Metro. The figures are deeply chilling and it is for this reason that I have called on SANDF to be immediately deployed to our communities. In the past, communities have called for a state of emergency and this is something that the National Government needs to consider in a bid to bring peace to the area,” Fritz said.
He continued, “I commend the SAPS on their urgent response to the murders that took place in Philippi. They have launched a 72-hour action plan in response to the killings. The plan entails a lockdown and operations in the area that are conducted by public order police, the K9 Unit and Flying Squad members. In this regard, the Western Cape Government will continue to work closely with SAPS, and continue to provide the necessary oversight.”
“Every time there is a flare-up of violence, we point to the fact that SAPS in the Western Cape is woefully under-resourced compared to the rest of the country,” said City of Cape Town Mayco Member for Safety and Security JP Smith. “To reiterate to the public – the City of Cape Town has but a fraction of the resources of the SAPS. We deploy those resources as best we can in support of SAPS who, by law, are the primary policing agency tasked with crime prevention.”
“Already we are pouring more resources into an area of responsibility that is not ours; and the demand keeps growing. As a local government entity, we simply cannot be expected to continue filling the hole that has been left by agencies within other spheres of government,” he added.
Community members with any information about the shootings are urged to contact the investigating officer Warrant Officer Larry Arnoldus on 079 880 9822 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.