CAPE TOWN – A Manenberg resident is three times more likely to be murdered than anywhere else in South Africa. This is due to the ongoing issue of gang violence in the area.
DA Western Cape spokesperson on community safety Mireille Wenger used the area as an example when arguing how gang violence affects service delivery.
“According to official statistics the area accounted for 123 murders in 2015/16 – more than one in two murders here are gang-related-with an estimated 56301 residents living under the constant threat of gang violence, it is one of South Africa’s most dangerous places.”
She said the alarming figures should trigger massive inflow of police resources to stabilise the area as it desperately needs security.
“Many might say that a lack of service delivery is what is causing gang violence in the first place. While this may be partly true, it is not entirely…The reality is that ordinary citizens in gang-affected communities are often unable to exercise their basic freedoms and rights because service delivery programmes have been halted by flying bullets. Here we are let down by one of our key players, the police, whose fundamental job is to combat crime, maintain public order and to protect the inhabitants of our nation.”
The ANC’s Pat Lekker said it was regrettable that residents were victims of gang violence.
“It is so sad that these human rights violations happen when the premier (Helen Zille) of this province is absent and her leadership is failing the people and to protect the vulnerable.”
Lekker added that it was under “her party leadership that the DA-led City of Cape Town admitted gangsters were employed by its subcontractors to provide security at the construction sites in Manenberg”.
The ANC’s Trudy Dijana said the DA had failed to keep gangsterism under control and it was now spreading like wildfire.
“Why is it that Cape Town and its surrounding areas in the province have such high child murders and gang violence, compared to other metros and provinces?”
Manenberg Community Police Forum chairperson Kader Jacobs said it was just an excuse to say that gangs were the reason the community did not receive adequate service delivery.
“Generally service delivery in the area was pathetic to say the least and when looking at the state of this place, it is pathetic.”
PHOTO: RUNNING SCARED: Manenberg residents flee for cover after gunshots rang out during a gang war. Photo: Leon Knipe