Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
Advocate assassination shows SAPS’ inability to clamp down on gang warfare
This morning’s apparent assassination of a top Cape Town advocate, Pete Mihalik, has become the latest number to be added to the growing death count of gang related murders in Cape Town and the Western Cape, with SAPS seemingly unable to clamp down on the ongoing gang warfare.
The callous murder of Mr Mihalik, while dropping off his child at school, and despite allegedly having protection services, shows to what ends those involved in organised crime will go to carry out the orders of gang bosses and drug lords.
This brazen disregard for life and the rule of law is extremely worrying as it exposes the truth about the rampant Cape Town underworld, bubbling underneath the veneer of SAPS’ anti-gang efforts.
This morning’s attack is a serious threat to the entire criminal justice system on which law abiding citizens rely to break the hold those responsible for the scourge of gangs, drugs and guns in our communities.
With 83% (808) of all gang-related murders in South Africa occurring in the Western Cape, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s launch of Police Minister Bheki Cele’s new Anti-Gang Unit this Friday seems too little too late.
While any additional resources are welcomed to help address the high levels of crime - specifically violent interpersonal crime – the families of the hundreds who died last year alone at the hands of gangsters and druglords need to be assured that the police are the ones in control of law and order. Cape Town and the Western Cape cannot be ruled by figures from the underworld.
The Western Cape Government has been calling for the full reinstatement of the specialised gang and drug units for years.
One such unit is soon to be launched on the Cape Flats. However, clarity is still outstanding on questions such as:
We need to see the organised crime of entrenched, sophisticated gang and drug structures being tackled with competent, intelligence-driven crime prevention and combatting methods.
We can no longer accept the deterioration of policing resources in the province, instability in SAPS national management, short-lived Police Ministers or corrupt Provincial Commissioners.