South African authorities are attempting to bring down crime in Cape Town by sending in military members to work alongside police, officials said.
The effort comes in response to an increase in gang-related violence throughout the area, according to Police Minister Bheki Cele.
“We’ll go door to door, we’ll collect every illegal firearm, we’ll collect all criminals that we want, we’ll collect all outstanding criminals that have been on bail and that is happening from two o’clock this [Friday] morning,” Cele said, according to BBC.
He warned that generals in the South African police will “surrender their uniforms if this situation does not improve,” reported African News Agency.
“The Western Cape has seen more than 2,500 murders over the past year, with 900 gang-related murders since January,” Western Cape Premier Alan Winde told Bloomberg. “While I welcome the move and we, as the provincial government, have been calling on national government to send in the army to support the police, it has actually been the people who live in the affected areas who have been the ones crying for the intervention out of desperation.” (RELATED: ‘Just Kill Him, Brother’: A Widow’s Harrowing Story Of South African ‘Farm Attacks’ The Media Dismisses)
[Listen] South African National Defence Force deployed to Cape Flats https://t.co/rwkzYp0UXj
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) July 12, 2019
Concerns remain, however, that the military’s presence will bring back memories of the apartheid regime.
South African National Defense Force members will assist in cordons and searches, as well as foot and vehicle patrols for at least three months, according to the Times Live.
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