The South African Police Services (SAPS) announced that a street Imbizo will take place on 17 and 18 March 2022, against the backdrop of multiple murders that have shocked the community of Khayelistha. Five people were gunned down in the Endlovini informal settlement on Monday.
“A Bheki Cele street imbizo is a sugar-coated acknowledgement of incompetence. An imbizo means nothing if the police is not restructured, trained and well-resourced in these incredibly dangerous areas” said Ian Cameron, director of community safety at Action Society.
According to SAPS the aim of these community engagements is to strengthen the working relations between the police and community members who remain an integral part in the overall fight against crime. The Street Imbizo will also provide the South African Police Service with an opportunity to update the residents on some of the operational measures that the SAPS has put in place, to ensure the areas are stabilised and there’s an increased police footprint to maintain law and order.
According to Cameron, the 5 starting solutions are simple:
- Bring back the anti-gang unit that Cele basically disbanded.
- Restore crime intelligence capabilities.
- Reinstate specialised units that can deal with serious violent crime effectively without having to live in the very same community.
- Gang kingpins threatening these communities need to be targeted and taken out of operation.
- Restore reservist capabilities, especially to support specialised units. It is of utmost importance that these reservists do not come from the said communities in order for intimidation to be limited.