Western Cape safety MEC demands more police after spate of crimes
Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz has called for more police resources to be deployed in the Western Cape, saying the spate of violent crime in different parts of the province should not be “normalised”.
Among the recently recorded crimes were murders and mob justice.
Fritz has vowed that his department will be proactive in “bringing perpetrators to book”.
One of the violent crimes that happened at the weekend was the murder of four foreigners who were killed execution-style on Saturday night in Wellington.
In a separate incident, the Western Cape police are investigating the disappearance of four people in Mfuleni. The incident is allegedly linked to a case of mob justice. While searching for the missing four, the police discovered the bodies of two unidentified victims who are not part of the quartet.
In another incident, the body of a 27-year-old woman was discovered in Paarl, while members of the local community allegedly destroyed a suspect’s shack and his car.
“We refuse to normalise the criminality we see on our streets. We refuse to become desensitised to it. The crime on our streets is outrageous and, as the provincial government, we are demanding greater policing resources in the Western Cape so that the SAPS can be more effective in fighting crime,” Fritz said.
“We are determined to bring down these figures, and we are going to fight every fight that we have to to do just that. Practically, I am going to instruct my department to follow up on all these cases as far as we can in terms of our current powers.”
Fritz said a legal expert who works with gender-based violence cases in his department’s court monitoring body, Court Watching Brief Unit, would help get justice for the Paarl woman. “And our Leap officers are going to continue their work of bringing greater visible policing to our communities. But we need more SAPS resources in this province – that remains the unavoidable reality.”
While the provincial government's mandate is that of oversight and not policy formulation, it was provincial authorities who had to deal with grieving families, he said.
“We have to face the people. We can’t explain constitutional powers to grieving mothers when they look for answers from us about why criminals are rampaging in our streets. Things can’t go on like this.”
SAPS spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa said on Tuesday the police were still in the process of identifying the four men who were gunned down at the weekend.
No arrests have been made.