Weekend murder statistics for the metro region have shown an increase from last weekend, but a declining trend from previous pay day weekends, which tend to have the highest death toll in the province.
A total of 46 people were murdered over the weekend, with 21 shootings, 20 stabbings and 5 murders by other causes, showing an increase from the 25 murders recorded by the province’s forensics services last weekend.
Premier Winde said: “We are concerned that following a quieter weekend last weekend, to coincide with the first deployment of SANDF troops, we have seen a sharp increase inmurder numbers again. What these numbers underline is that we cannot rely on the SANDF alone to help solve the problem of crime in the province. The South African Police Service, all levels of government, and the public all have a role to play in helping to reduce the scourge of crime on our city."
There were also several reports of shootings, in which residents were injured over the weekend. Among those shot and injured were two children aged six and sixteen.
Premier Winde said: "The pay day weekend is traditionally the most violent weekend of each month. In May, 71 murders were recorded over the pay day weekend, and in June, 66. While there were still 46 murders too many this weekend, we are seeing a downward trend in this regard which we hope to see continue in coming months."
"We saw an increased number of stabbings across the metro this week, which may be cases of interpersonal violence, and not gang related. We know that incidents of interpersonal violence are often fuelled d by alcohol. As a province, we have increased measures to reduce the harmful impact of alcohol, however, we call on citizens to play their part, by using alcohol responsibly," Premier Winde said.
"We also saw the stabbing of a tourist on Table Mountain over the weekend and we welcome the swift action by neighbourhood watch members in apprehending a suspect, and the move by SANParks to deploy more resources into the park."
“It is still too early to record the real impact of the deployment of the SANDF in our communities, but with just a three month window in which to stabilize the situation, we call on the South African Police Service to make maximum use of the additional resources provided by the SANDF.”
“We cannot expect the SANDF to solve this crisis. They are a temporary tool at our disposal. What we really need is a fully resourced, functioning police service, and in order to do this, we need effective, committed police management.”
“As a province, we continue to drive the intergovernmental dispute with Police Minister, Bheki Cele, in a bid to secure more resources. We have several programs in place aimed at increasing safety in communities - among them the recent deployment in partnership with the City of Cape Town, of 100 law enforcement officers in Bonteheuwel which has yielded positive results. In order to prevent breakdowns in the criminal justice chain, our watching briefs unit, tracks cases through the judicial system."
"We are also very seriously engaging on the issue of a new police commissioner for the province as we are looking for the best possible candidate to lead the police services going forward," Premier Winde said.
As per section 207 (3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, “The National Commissioner, with the concurrence of the provincial executive, must appoint a woman or a man as the provincial commissioner for that province, but if the National Commissioner and the provincial executive are unable to agree on the appointment, the Cabinet member responsible for policing must mediate between the parties.”
Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz said: “I welcome the temporary appointment of Lieutenant General Sindile Mfazi which will allow us to follow a proper process to appoint a permanent Provincial Police Commissioner. It is essential that the process be concluded swiftly and in a transparent manner given the vast number of murders which take place in our province each weekend. It is further essential that a provincial police commissioner be appointed prior to the start of the Community Policing Forum elections between September and December 2019.
In the meantime, I hope to have a productive working relationship with Lieutenant General Sindile Mfazi who will be the Acting Provincial Commissioner from 1 August 2019.
I look forward to the amiable and transparent appointment of a Provincial Commissioner who will set aside internal politics and immediately prioritise gang-related violence and criminality in the Western Cape. It is imperative that the new Provincial Commissioner be a person of the highest integrity who is not involved in any of the factions that are currently destroying SAPS in the Western Cape.”