Cape Town – On Wednesday Police Minister Bheki Cele met with residents at the multi-purpose centre in Bonteheuwel following the Total Shutdown on Tuesday. This meeting was held to allow residents of the communities involved in the shutdown to express their concerns and for Cele to respond with solutions.
Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith and ward councillor for Bonteheuwel, Angus Mc Kenzie, were also in attendance. Cele said that he was unaware that Smith and Mc Kenzie would be in attendance. He, along with concerned community members, requested that they leave. This was decided to ensure that no political agenda could be pushed at the meeting and Cele could focus on engaging with the community members.
An organiser of the Total Shutdown, Henrietta Abrahams, asked that the police be more visible in the affected communities and that certain areas be declared as disaster zones. Abrahams said that police members need to patrol at gang hotspots, such as public transport terminals and schools. At the meeting, Abrahams said that the government needs to utilise all their resources and focus their attention on the dire situation communities are in and prioritise the poor and working class.
Cele announced that the home affairs, police and defence departments will meet with the prosecution to discuss security measures that will be implemented. It is alleged that SAPS’ specialised gang unit will be re-established, after being disbanded in 2003 under Jackie Selebi. Cele assured community members that their concerns raised at the meeting will be conveyed to deputy president David Mabuza, who leads government business.