Crime in South Africa is without a doubt out of control.
More than once Police Minister Bheki Cele had to leave the African National Congress (ANC) policy conference over the last few days to attend to crime incidents.
The minister is again expected to visit different families of the recent Krugersdorp gang-rape victims at around noon on Sunday.
Addressing the media on the sidelines of the policy conference, Cele expressed concern at the violent nature of crime in different parts of the country but stressed that it is not the police alone who can bring the situation under control.
Recently, several people from different provinces were shot and killed, especially at taverns.
The latest tragic shooting incident, took place in Marianhill, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), where seven people died.
Cele says there is no evidence that the shootings are linked. He said he is hoping that the policy conference will also come up with solutions on how to better deal with violent crime in the country.
“There is nothing that says the motive is similar but we do find a lot of illegal guns,” said Cele.
On Krugersdorp, where suspects were arrested following the rape of eight women in West Village, Cele said they are hoping to get new information from the families on Sunday afternoon.
“We are going to use the Diepsloot approach and the reason that we are not mentioning Diepsloot, it means it (approach) works,” Cele said.
Calls for Cele to resign
Cele did not want to respond directly to calls for him to resign, except to say that crime in many parts of the country is caused by a number of issues, including high unemployment rates and poverty.
“The crime situation cannot be the police alone.
“If you look for instance in the Western Cape, there are areas called Covid-19 and Sanitiser where there are no roads, no house numbers which makes access to those areas almost impossible,” Cele said.
Cele said preliminary investigations into the tuckshop shooting in Marianhill suggest that the suspects were targeting two or three people. He said the other victims were at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“But it looks like we are getting a positive response from the community, we are getting some indication or direction to follow.
“Three people have been arrested but we are chasing more, five more because we are told it was eight suspects in total and we are told the motive was robbery, but we are still investigating,” Cele said.
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