Zille expected Zuma's 'No'
President Jacob Zuma has rejected Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's request that he deploy soldiers on the Cape Flats to quell gang warfare in Lavender Hill and Hanover Park.
Zille yesterday said that Zuma's response had been expected because Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa had vehemently opposed the idea as soon as it was suggested.
"He [Mthethwa] went in there [to Lavender Hill and Hanover Park] even before the president had responded to me, and even before he had any of the facts, figures or analysis; he already said 'No'," said Zille.
When Mthethwa visited the two areas last month he said the police were better equipped than the army to fight gangsters.
Zuma's spokesman, Mac Maharaj, yesterday said that, instead of deploying troops on the Cape Flats, more intensive action was needed by the police along with "long-term interventions by the social and economic clusters of the government".
But Zille said the army had been sent to rein in gang violence last year and had been sent into the townships at the request of the previous ANC provincial administration.
Mthethwa's recommendations came after he and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula were ordered to investigate gang warfare in Lavender Hill and Hanover Park, which has claimed the lives of 23 people.
Maharaj said a team from the departments of police and of defence, and of military veterans, had gone to Hanover Park and Lavender Hill to assess the situation.
He said the government's response to gang warfare on the Cape Flats will be extended to areas such as Manenberg, Elsies River and Nyanga.