Philippi Lockdown: 141 arrested

Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole during a visit to Philippi East Cape Town on 8 July 2019

Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole during a visit to Philippi East Cape Town on 8 July 2019

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said 43 murders were recorded in the Cape Town metro between Friday night and Monday morning.

Residents of the Cape Town suburb of Philippi East on Sunday begged Police Minister Bheki Cele to deploy more officers to patrol the crime-ridden area.

"[The] SAPS started running a national joint operational and intelligence structure operation on Thursday night in the areas of Philippi, Steenberg and Delft", Winde said in a statement.

Delft and Samora Machel each recorded four murders, while three murders were reported in Mitchells Plain.

Of the 43 people murdered, 25 were shot and 12 were stabbed.

Cele had previously turned down repeated calls for the deployment of troops to help quell gang violence in affected areas, saying the army was not trained to deal with civilians, and the rate of crime in the city has not reached the point that necessitates the deployment of the SANDF.

Troops arrived in the Western Cape over the weekend, but they were not deployed on Friday as initially announced by Cele, Winde said.

Their training includes a briefing on the areas in which the troops will be active, the objectives of the mission, expectations of troop conduct and preparation for engagement with the public.

He said the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would assist police in the fight against gangs. The dispute is still in place. We will discuss the intergovernmental dispute and various other commitments made during the crime summit at our [provincial] cabinet meeting on Wednesday. "We will only withdraw the dispute if we can see a working partnership, with agreements in place that will make this province safer".

On Sunday Police Minister Cele said 141 wanted suspects had been arrested in Cape Town over the weekend.