Call for urgent meeting on Western Cape organised crime and extortion

Call for urgent meeting on Western Cape organised crime and extortion

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has reiterated his call for an urgent meeting of the transversal steering committee on organised crime and extortion.

The MEC has sent his request to the Police Minister, Bheki Cele.

The moves comes as the hunt for those behind the shooting of nine people in Gugulethu continues.

Seven of the victims died on the scene of the tragedy, while another succumbed to injuries in hospital. One of the victims is recuperating.

The murder shocked the nation with some residents of Gugulethu and other gang-riddled townships of the Western Cape taking to social media, venting their frustrations.

MEC Albert Fritz has said he suspects the Gugulethu shooting to be extortion-related.

He says: “Reports have shown that the Guptas and the Boko Haram gangs in townships such as Gugulethu, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Philippi East, and formerly ‘coloured’ townships are targeting our community members, local businesses, ECDs, and even government officials. It is for this reason that I am calling on Minister Cele to urgently convene this steercom and ensure it meets.”

Fritz says the setting up of the transversal steering committee on organised crime and extortion was agreed upon during a meeting with the Minister in September.

“It would draw in the province, City, SAPS, NPA, SARS and other relevant stakeholders to specifically address the issue of extortion in the province. At the end of the meeting, names were provided by the City of Cape Town and Provincial Government of officials who would attend the first meeting of this committee. This steering committee to address the issue of extortion has never met and has not been convened.”

Minister Cele is yet to respond to the request.

He engaged with the community of Langa on policing matter over the weekend.

Residents complained about the Langa Police Station’s alleged ineffectiveness in dealing with gender-based violence and the harassment of citizens by gangs who demand protection money, among other issues.

Cele appealed to community members to report corrupt and complacent police officers.

He said while there are still no arrests on the Gugulethu shooting, a plan to deal with extortions in the province has been drafted and the government will be funding it.

Search on for Gugulethu shooters

Search on for Gugulethu shooters

The community of Gugulethu, in the Western Cape, is reeling from shock following the murder of seven people on Monday afternoon.

The three women and four men were gunned down at a house in the area.

Two others were injured in the incident.

Some South Africans believe the house was used as a drug den.

However, there hasn’t been any confirmation from the police on that matter.

Western Cape Police Spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa says details are still sketchy.

“Preliminary reports indicate that three women and four men between the ages of 30 and 40 were shot and killed by unknown gunmen at NY 78 in Gugulethu. Two other victims were injured and taken to a medical facility.”

Organised crime detectives are working on the case.

The incident comes as Western Cape authorities continue to grapple with mass shootings in and around Cape Town.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has sent his condolences to the grieving families.

He has blamed the incident on people who extort money from people in the townships.

Fritz says local business people are being harassed by people who demand protection money from them.

The MEC has been expressing frustration and outrage over the violence in the city for some time now.

Early in October, he said community members in Hanover Park felt trapped in their homes as gangsters shoot outside.

In a bid to stem the tide, he relaunched the city’s safety plan in gang infested areas.