Zuma rejects Zille's call for troops to fight gangs
President Jacob Zuma will not deploy soldiers to areas affected by gang violence in the Western Cape, the presidency said on Wednesday.
"The president... has opted for more intensive action by the police and long-term interventions by social and economic clusters of government," his spokesman Mac Maharaj said.
In July, Western Cape premier Helen Zille asked Zuma to send troops to curtail gang violence. At the time, at least 23 people had been killed in the Western Cape in six weeks.
Seventeen of them were killed in Cape Town's Lavender Hill and Hanover Park areas.
Maharaj said the ministers of police and defence had briefed Zuma on the situation. A team comprising staff from both departments went to the two suburbs to make an assessment.
The briefing from the two ministers indicated that a long term and multi-disciplinary approach was needed.
"The SA Police Service has the necessary capacity to deal with the situation in these areas. The situation does not require the deployment of members of the SA National Defence Force," Maharaj said.
He said there were socio-economic conditions that needed to be addressed.
Police would improve their intelligence-gathering and visibility in the areas, and form partnerships with government departments and non-government bodies.
Maharaj said the government's response would extend to Mannenberg, Elsies River and Nyanga.
"President Zuma has directed ministers in the social and economic sectors to study the situation and look for long-term solutions that promote sustainable development and stable communities."