Hanover Park Shooting: Specialised Approach by SAPS Needed
Media Statement by Dan Plato, Minister of Community Safety
I am deeply saddened by the death this morning of a young woman in Hanover Park believed to have been caught in the crossfire of gang violence and wish to extend my deepest condolences to the woman's family and friends.
The 24-year-old mother of two was shot and killed on an open field in Hanover Park Avenue this morning just before 10:00.
This is the reality that the people of Hanover Park live with every day and the situation warrants immediate action. It is clear that the government needs to urgently respond to the request from gang-plagued communities for specialised police units to deal with gangs, drugs and alcohol in the Western Cape.
Since Premier Zille and I called for the reinstatement of these specialised units almost two months ago, Minister Mthethwa has failed to commit to a meeting with us to discuss the matter.
My role is one of civilian oversight and to this end I oversee the conduct and performance of the police. My department is working towards increasing safety across the province and has an ongoing anti-gang strategy, which partners with national and provincial government departments as well as community organisations in gang-ridden areas. The focus is on youth at risk, parental skills and identifying gang high flyers for prosecution. We are also constantly exploring new and long-term alternatives like the CeaseFire Project aimed at reducing gang violence through conflict mediation, street-level outreach and the changing of behaviour.
Operational control of SAPS is however a national competency. The Constitution allows for police resources to be in line with the needs of the communities and if communities therefore request increased policing or specialised police units to deal with gangs and drugs then the national government should respond to these needs.
That is the call from communities in the Western Cape.