Media Release: Minister Fritz meets SAPS on Surge in Gang-Related Murders in WC
Today, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, held an urgent morning meeting on the recent and ongoing surge of gang violence and crime in the Province. Here, a number of interventions were outlined to address ongoing gang violence.
Key stakeholders who attended the meeting included the Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General MM Manci, Major General J Veary, SAPS officials, Alderman JP Smith and the Metro Police.
Of particular concern was the reported spike in crime and murders specifically attributed to gangsterism. Between November 2018 and May 2019, there were 2302 recorded murders. The vast majority of these murders were gang-related.
Minister Fritz strongly emphasised the need for a comprehensive and cooperative response to gang-related crime. He reminded attendees poorer communities faced the brunt of this violence and that he would use all the instruments at his disposal to ensure that communities become safer.
Minister Fritz said, “Today we had a productive meeting. As could be expected, the exchanges were robust and in the spirit of finding constructive solutions. The meeting focused on addressing the major bottlenecks that mitigated against more effective coordination, cooperation and joint planning between SAPS, Metro Police, DOCS and other law enforcement agencies. In this regard, there was agreement to urgently address immediate deployment of senior SAPS officials to the Traffic Management Centre (TMC) where much of the crime related CCTV footage of the City is coordinated and analysed. It was also agreed to rapidly improve the workings of the various priority committees of the Provincial Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (PROVJOINTS) – which is a key structure aimed at establishing stabilisation and normalisation.”
“The meeting also discussed various strategies to address the ongoing issue of the proliferation of illegal firearms and the seemingly unchecked availability of ammunition, much of which is procured via gun shops using sports hunting licenses. "
Minister Fritz said he would be studying gun legislation to identify gaps that could limit guns and ammunition from falling into the hands of criminals.
Minister Fritz further indicated that the Provincial response to the National Anti -Gang strategy had been drafted and was currently out for comment from various stakeholders. The final draft would soon be presented to Cabinet for ratification.
Minister Fritz said, “I am pleased that I was able to meet with the Acting Provincial Commissioner Manci, Major General J Veary and various other SAPS officials today on this urgent matter. I commend SAPS for increasing the recovery of illegal firearms and look forward to establishing a joint-initiative that will incentivise police to further recover illegal firearms and ammunition. Additionally, I welcome the SAPS pledge to collaborate with the City of Cape Town’s Safer Cities Project.”
Under the leadership of Minister Albert Fritz, the Department of Community Safety will continue providing the necessary oversight over institutions which ensure the safety of our citizens.