Philippi lockdown a little too late for deceased

Image: 123rf/dimjul

Are police losing the battle against crime in the Western Cape? So much blood has been spilt but our police officers do not have answers why these people are being killed.

Just this past week, the number of people shot and killed in Philippi, Cape Town, reached 13.

Six women were shot and killed in Philippi East on Friday evening. In the same area, five men were shot and killed the following day.

A week before this incident, two other men were gunned down just 50 metres away from the scene where the six girls died.

This all comes after the province's community safety MEC Alan Winde described the murder rate in the province as having reached "crisis" levels in May.

At the time, he said between November 1 2018 and April 30 2019, a total of 1,875 people had been murdered in the Western Cape.

But Winde's statement was dismissed as a spat between politicians because he had criticised how police minister Bheki Cele had handled the gang violence in the province.

That is a huge number of deaths in just six months but there was no outrage in SA, we carried on with our lives as if nothing had happened.

This is the kind of news that would have made headlines every day in other countries until police were seen to be doing something to ensure the safety of innocent citizens.

But the killings continued, and now we have 13 gone in just one week. It's a scary situation.

Police have been quoted saying the motives for their killings were unknown but could be gang-related.

We have known of gang violence for years now; the question is what is SAPS doing to curb it?

The latest incident has led to a 72-hour action plan which involves a lockdown and intensive operations by Public Order Police, the K9 Unit and Flying Squad.

We welcome the lockdown plan by the SAPS, but their action came a little too late for the families who have lost hundreds of their loved ones.

However, as a society it is also time for serious introspection, and we should ask questions about the competence of our law enforcement agencies.

We call on the SAPS to do their job to serve and protect. Are we asking too much?

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