Time to get illegal guns off our streets: New Western Cape top cop after spate of murders

Western Cape police want to intensify operations to remove illegal weapons from communities. Stock photo.
Western Cape police want to intensify operations to remove illegal weapons from communities. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Roger Lamkin

After one week in office, Western Cape acting provincial police commissioner Maj-Gen Thembisile Patekile says the alarmingly high levels of serious violent crimes are driven by the proliferation of illegal firearms.

The Western Cape, particularly the Cape Town metropole, has emerged from a week that saw multiple murders with the use of guns:

  • Last Thursday, two teenagers were killed in Beacon Valley in Mitchells Plain and three others sustained serious injuries.
  • In Maureen Street, also in Mitchells Plain, four men between the ages of 30 and 64 were shot dead on Saturday and a fifth victim escaped with a gunshot wound.
  • Sgt Welcome Mdoko and Const Mninawa Breakfast were ambushed in Bloekombos, Kraaifontein, in the early hours of Sunday morning. They both died on the scene.
  • Four men in their 30s came under attack from two assailants in Thubelitsha, Delft, on Sunday. Two died on the scene and two others sustained serious injuries.
  • Beaufort West detectives are investigating a murder and an inquest after the discovery of the bodies of a couple in Hospital Heights on Saturday. A revolver with ammunition was found next to the bodies of the 61-year-old man and his wife, 60.
  • Two brothers, aged 17 and 19, were shot dead in Site B, Khayelitsha, on Sunday afternoon.

Patekile said he is resolved to rid communities in the Western Cape of the illegal firearms that contribute to violent crimes.

“With illegal firearms off the streets, the province’s communities will be safer,” he said, adding he would drive intensified policing initiatives with community involvement.

In the past week, 30 illegal firearms and rounds of ammunition were seized and several arrests were effected in operations undertaken throughout the Western Cape.

Meanwhile, 13 men between the ages of 22 and 47 are expected to appear in the Cape Town magistrate’s court on Monday in connection with the raid on a luxury car dealership in Cape Town a week ago.

The suspects were arrested in tracing operations executed over the weekend. They are facing business robbery, malicious damage to property and extortion charges.


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