Crime intelligence improvement required to prevent mass shootings
I am deeply appalled at yet another mass murder that occurred last night in Khayelitsha. The South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed that 4 people were shot at the Madiba supermarket in Site B. Three died in the store and the fourth later at a medical facility. The motive for the shooting is still unknown. I trust that this will soon be established.
Since March this year and including these 4 murders, 26 people have lost their lives in mass shootings in Khayelitsha. Since September 2020, 51 people have been fatally shot in Khayelitsha.
This is a clear failure of crime intelligence, which requires urgent attention. I’ll once again engage the SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Thembisile Patekile, about how they are attending to this matter, as this cannot continue in this manner. Although we’ve seen arrests in some of the other shootings in Khayelitsha, it seems as if criminals think the area is a free-for-all and they can do as they please.
I call on communities to assist SAPS and provide any information or details they might have, so that these perpetrators who have no regard for life can be arrested and face justice. This incident also further confirms why the current National Minister of Police, Bheki Cele is not fit for office and why a head that does not play politics with crime is required. Further to this, it once again highlights the need for SAPS to be devolved to provinces such as ours, who are more than capable to manage the service. If diplomacy and lobbying is not going to bring about an immediate change, other and further options would have to be considered.
Khayelitsha’s police to resident’s ratio is unacceptable, sitting at 1 officer for every 628 residents. In Harare it 1:879 and Lingelethu West, 1:664. The provincial average is 1:520. Both the National Minister and his deputy, keeps harping on that we’re the most resourced and that a report to this effect will be provided. This report has still not arrived, and the statement alone contradicts the 10% SAPS vacancy rate that we currently have in the Western Cape.
I want our residents not to lose hope. We’ve seen in the latest crime stats how the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers are making a dent in the murder rate, as 8 out of the 14 stations where they are deployed have seen a reduction. Amongst these, Elsiesriver is down by more than 59% and Gugulethu has decreased by more than 32%. We’re also utilising our recently launched Safety Dashboard, which clusters incidents down to police precinct level, which helps to track the type and time of injury, as well as the types of weapons that are being used. The dashboard enables us to deploy resources according to the data and to ensure that we focus on the generators/drivers of violent crimes, particularly murder.
In addition to this, the City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate is working on adding capacity to its Strategic information management unit (SIMS) because intelligence driven policing is and should always be a priority.
If we are to overcome crime, it’ll require everyone’s cooperation, which also includes the justice cluster.