Plans for military to help fight gang violence in the pipeline

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is set to table a motion requesting the deployment of the military to areas hit by gang violence.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is believed to be ready to table a motion requesting that the military be deployed to areas of the province currently in the grip of gang warfare.

The premier is expected to table the motion at a sitting of her provincial cabinet, set for next week.

Gang violence has become almost uncontrollable in certain areas.

In Philippi East recently, 18 people were killed in the Marikana informal settlement in one week. Residents say that they are living in fear and have asked that the army be deployed to assist police.

“We don’t trust no more, that’s why we are asking for soldiers, that’s what we are looking for now. Soldiers must come and operate here,” community leader Joseph Makeleni said.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula visited the area and the families affected by the Marikana shooting last week.

He announced the deployment of around 50 extra police officers to patrol the area and the appointment of a new station commander. However, he had to concede the reality that a criminal element had successfully infiltrated the police service.

Zille said in a statement that police were under-resourced in areas where crime levels are high and thus needed assistance.

She previously requested the army to assist in quelling the gang violence, but government denied the request.

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