Mthethwa prioritises gang wars on Zuma's call
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has prioritised the Cape Flats gang wars after president Jacob Zuma ordered him and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to look into the scourge.
The ministers held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss and come up with solutions to the violence that has claimed dozens of lives in Western Cape.
Mthethwa's spokesman, Zweli Mnisi, confirmed yesterday the meeting between Mthethwa and Mapisa-Nqakula.
"The ministers met and they took a decision that they will meet to tactically and operationally look at this matter," said Mnisi.
"They will then advise based on their analysis, whether it is viable to deploy the army [in areas affected by gang violence in the Cape Flats] and if not, what would be the best option to deal with this challenge."
Mnisi said the issue was receiving "urgent attention and we will keep the public up-to-date on progress".
Last week, Western Cape premier and DA leader Helen Zille asked Zuma to deploy the army to assist the police in curbing gang warfare in Lavender Hill and Hanover Park.
But Mthethwa rubbished Zille's call during a visit to the besieged areas last week only to be ordered by Zuma to take drastic steps.
Recently appointed national police commissioner Riah Phiyega accompanied Mthethwa on a visit.
This week Zille said the gangs continued to terrorise communities in Western Cape and that the violence had intensified over the weekend.
She challenged Zuma to deploy the army and called on the two ministers to take a closer look at the warfare.
"It is relevant to highlight that state security organs have recently been employed to provide additional security for you [Zuma] at a function in Limpopo and the defence force has been used to support efforts to curb rhino-poaching," Zille said.
"These are not objectionable uses of such state resources; however, I now ask that the safety and security needs of the residents of Lavender Hill and Hanover Park be similarly prioritised."