Police Minister Bheki Cele says 110 gang-related arrests have been made by the newly established anti-gang unit since its launch.
Cele and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole addressed the media and various community organisations in Tafelsig in Mitchells Plain on Thursday.
“Thirty-five prominent gang leaders have been targeted and we’re watching them, 266 gang strongholds have been searched since 8 November 2018 to date. We’re squeezing the space and taking oxygen out of their lives.”
Cele says the unit has also made arrests not related directly to gangsterism.
“The unit has thus far has reported the following successes: 119 arrests – the 110 above is clearly gangster related and the 119 is general arrests.”
But Western Cape Community Safety MEC Alan Winde claims the anti-gang unit is being used to score political points.
The provincial government was not invited to Cele’s address at the Thusong Centre in Tafelsig.
Winde has accused Cele of politicising the unit.
“We welcomed the anti-gang unit, we want to work in partnership with all law-enforcement and crime-fighting organisations and civil society to make this province safer. We believe this unit is not a political intervention. This is about crime fighting and removing the power that the gangs have over society.
“And then the minister comes to report back and he does not invite either myself of the Department of Community Safety; and does not recognise the role that we need to play. That’s totally unacceptable.”