The SANDF has been deployed on the Cape Flats for weeks now and yet reports murders in the province over the past weekend continue.
Bonteheuwel is an example where members of the community are not completely satisfied with how the SANDF has been operating, but they are also striving to make their own interventions through a group called the Bonteheuwel Development Forum (BDF).
Kineo Kammies chats to the local ward councillor in Bonteheuwel Angus McKenzie and a member of the BDF, community activist Henriette Abrahams about their concerns and the formation of their own social programmes to fight the scourge of Gangsterism in their community.
There are some questions we need to ask around the deployment of the army. How many arrests have been made by the police who have worked with them, how many gangsters that have been arrested have gone to court and been prosecuted, how many drugs and firearms have been confiscated?— Angus McKenzie, Ward councillor - Bonteheuwel
Until those questions have been answered and clarified, Mckenzie remains unconvinced.
It's very much the same sort of failure that the AGU has been in Cape Town with these roaming units just moving from area to area, making no sustainable changes.— Angus McKenzie, Ward councillor - Bonteheuwel
44 people died in the Bonteheuwel area this year until June. On 1 July they launched the Bonteheuwel Neighbourhood Safety Team, he says.
And today marks one entire month that we have had no gang-related murders because of boots on the ground, visible policing and a social development arm with the NSD team.— Angus McKenzie, Ward councillor - Bonteheuwel
He says the Bonteheuwel community has played a vital role in fostering relationships with this team.
We have less shooting, murders because of feet on the ground, but what is not being said is that crime is just shifting...we still have an increase in smash-and-grabs on Jakes Gerwel and Valhalla Drive.— Henriette Abrahams - Bonteheuwel Development Forum (BDF)
Her criticism of both law enforcement of the army is that they are only there for a number of hours and not 24/7/
Because they can't sell their drugs they are robbing our people more.— Henriette Abrahams - Bonteheuwel Development Forum (BDF)
Listen to the interviews below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Bonteheuwel: Zero gang-related murders for an entire month