Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has added her voice to the call for the South African army to be brought in to crime-ridden areas. Zille’s call came after a policeman was critically injured in Zwelihle, Hermanus, last night where violent protests have plagued the area recently… originally over land grab issues, but in the last week over the arrest of community leader Gcobani Ndongana (who is charged with inciting violence).
The protestors are demanding Ndongana’s release. This morning – 20 July 2018 – the bail hearing of Ndzongana took place, and he has been remanded in custody – in Pollsmoor Prison – to appear in court on 27 July.
The policeman was reportedly ‘hacked’ with an axe and suffered severe injuries. He has been airlifted to hospital in Cape Town.
Helen Zille said: “This is part of the ongoing tragedy of the situation in Zwelihle. I will be meeting the Minister of Police (Bheki Cele) there today. I will try to persuade him to increase, substantially, the number of police personnel allocated to Western Cape or take the next step necessary to bring in the SANDF.”
Premier Helen Zille TAKING TO AIR NOWShe will do an observation of the situation in Zwelihle.
According to MyWhaleWatch Facebook page, Disaster Management is on the scene and the clearing up of access roads has begun. Apart from Zille, other Zwe stakeholders will meet with Cele today and “we are expecting a fruitful and mutual beneficial day for all. We are expecting new bonds of friendship to be formed and a new way forward to be paved that benefits all parties.”
Zille’s call for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to be brought in follows the Democratic Alliance march yesterday, led by Mmusi Maimane, as described here in an article on GroundUp:
DA Calls for Army to be Deployed
The DA leader Mmusi Maimane led over a thousand people on a march through Cape Town townships on Thursday. They urged the national government to deploy the army in crime-ridden communities.
Dubbed the #SendTheArmyNow protest, they walked from Manenberg Police Station to Nyanga Police Station. Last year former Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula said that the army would be deployed in high-crime areas by Christmas. This did not happen.
Nyanga precinct has the highest murder rate in South Africa. Residents who spoke at the event talked about living in constant fear of gangs, drug dealers and gang-related shootouts.
Khayelitsha resident Nomboniso Mandlana participated in the march. She said she is forced to stay indoors out of fear of crime. She believes if the army is deployed it will make communities safer. “We stay inside our houses because we fear the criminals roaming in the streets.”
This would be the role of the army in some of South Africa's most crime-ridden areas.
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) July 19, 2018
Maimane said the DA is calling for the army to assist the police to get rid of crime, because the police stations in the Western Cape are under-resourced.
Addressing the crowd, he said, “We in South Africa, where our women are being raped, men are being killed, and young people are taking drugs, are saying enough is enough.”
He added, “We are here standing saying one thing: the police can’t cope. We need the army now!”
According to another reporter at the march, Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi refused to accept the memorandum because the march leaders refused to let him address the crowd. GroundUp has been unable to confirm this.