SANDF lands in Cape Town

SANDF soldiers

SANDF soldiers

South African army units will be used to support the police in a planned crackdown on gang- related violence in Cape Town from Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele told reporters in Cape Town.

This was part of "extraordinary" measures to be deployed following a bloody weekend in the Mother City's townships where at least 13 people were killed in several shootings in Philippi East over the weekend.

Communities in those districts often bear the brunt of violence in a vast area called the Cape Flats, where high rates of unemployment and drug abuse have fuelled gang activity.

"We'll go door to door, we'll collect every illegal firearm, we'll collect all criminals that we want, we'll collect all outstanding criminals that have been on bail and that is happening from two o'clock this [Friday] morning".

Cele said an "intense deployment" of the military was required for the coming months.

"We have truly reached a state of emergency, which threatens the stability and reputation of the city", said Jean-Pierre Smith, a DA mayoral committee member for safety and security. "This means that many of our most vulnerable residents in the province are living in a war zone", Fritz said after more than a dozen murders over one weekend last month.

Many wealthy people live in fortified homes with high walls topped with electrical wires, CCTV monitoring and armed guards.

"This situation has its roots in the history of South Africa".

In a statement, the SANDF confirmed that it had been tasked and authorised to deploy various SANDF elements to render assistance to the South African Police Services (SAPS) in the identified crime-ridden hotspots in the Western Cape. "This created a generation of alcoholics which had a particularly violent impact in the Western Cape".

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