Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has welcomed Thursday’s announcement that the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) would support the police’s efforts to crack down on crime in the province.
“This is really great news,” said Winde in a Facebook post.
“The people of this region have been calling for this for a very long time,” he added, describing the murder rate as being “out of control”.
Winde explained the military would not be the police, but their job would be stabilisation and peacekeeping in gang-infested areas as well as crime hot spots, adding this separation should stay in place.
“The military must not become the police, they are there to stabilise the environment,” he said.
Earlier, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced during his budget vote speech that President Cyril Ramaphosa had assented to the SANDF supporting the police.
Winde said the Western Cape government had written to Cele, national police commissioner Khehla Sitole and provincial commissioner Khombinkosi Jula about the crime situation, saying they had not been using their full powers.
“The Police Act allows you to lock down an area, move in, confiscate drugs and firearms, arrest people, you do not need a warrant, you are actually using your powers to arrest, confiscate drugs, firearms.
“We use the military to lock down an area, go in, zoom in, arrest those gangsters and take away those firearms and those drugs.”
He said he was “really happy” and looking forward to some “really serious arrests” to make the province safer.