Cape Town – Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has raised concern over the total of 40 gunshot fatalities in the city last weekend.
However, at the same time, he welcomed the court appearance of the quartet accused in connection with the Khayelitsha shootings in which 13 people have died.
Andile Valashiya, Dominic Isaacs and Fundile Maseti appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on a charge of murder linked to the shootings. They remain in custody and will appear in court again on June 2 for formal bail applications.
A fourth suspect appeared in court on Thursday. The cases were preliminarily withdrawn against seven of the initial 11 who were arrested on Monday morning pending further investigation.
“I am pleased to note the progress that the SAPS is making in this matter. Members of the public might at first be concerned that the case has been withdrawn against seven of the 11 suspects arrested on Monday, but we must remember that it is a preliminary withdrawal and that suspects can be charged at any stage.
’’The Western Cape government, in terms of its oversight role, will keep a close eye on these cases, and ensure that there are no policing inefficiencies. We cannot allow for crime to pay in our province.
’’Forty gunshot fatalities over a three-day period cannot be the norm. We need to pull together as the whole of society and confront this scourge head-on. We will beat crime and eradicate violence from our communities.
“The ongoing use of firearms in various crimes is a concern and it is something that we are prioritising in terms of the Safety Plan. By any standards, 40 deaths by gunshot wound over a period of just three days is a staggering number.
’’In light of this, we have to ask again how the national government sees fit to cut the budgets of the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority. SAPS has been under-resourced in the Western Cape for years. We simply cannot afford further cuts.
“We look forward to the deployment of an additional 250 LEAP Officers by the Western Cape Government on 1 July, 2021. A further 250 will then be trained and deployed on 1 October, 2021.
’’From the provincial government’s side, we recognise the importance of policing capacity and we’ve worked hard to make that happen. What we saw in Khayelitsha this past weekend cannot be the norm.’’