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.

Stiff sentences handed to 6 Cape Town gangsters welcomed

Stiff sentences handed to 6 Cape Town gangsters welcomed

The Western Cape Police Provincial Commissioner has welcomed the hefty sentences handed down to six gangsters in the High Court in Cape Town.

Horation Solomons, Ismail Ockerts, Keenen Kruger and Lucian Consul were sentenced to life behind bars yesterday.

Their co-accused Fabian Constable and Ziyaad Safodien were sentenced to 10 and 11 years imprisonment respectively.

The sentences related to the 2017 murder of Vernon Botes and various other serious and violent crimes.

Western Cape police commissioner General Yolisa Matakata have lauded the job done by the investigating and prosecution teams.

“This brings to an end the terror and fear that these ruthless criminals inflicted on the communities where they operated their life of crime,” Matakataka says in a statement.

Cape Town townships are riddled with gang violence, which some researchers have attributed to the city’s racist history.

A recent report by the Mexican Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice ranked the Mother City as the eighth most violent city in the world.  

The report annually surveys 50 of the world’s most dangerous cities.

 Cape Town recorded 3 065 murders among its 4.5 million people – the highest number of deaths out of the 50 countries surveyed.

The University of Cape Town’s Director of the Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI), Guy Lamb, has largely attributed this to access to illegal firearms.