Jackson Mthembu

Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu. Photo: GCIS
Image Source: Flickr

Cabinet to prioritise crime fighting as violence surges around the country

With violent crime affecting diverse communities across the country, Cabinet has resolved to combat the scourge with urgency.

Jackson Mthembu

Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu. Photo: GCIS
Image Source: Flickr

Following a spate of high-profile killings and violent incidents spanning a wide array of South Africa’s diverse communities, Cabinet has said that measures will be put in place to better protect citizens, who have become increasingly threatened and fearful for their safety over the past few months.

The murders of high-ranking police officers, attacks and killings taking place on farms, and mass shootings related to rampant gangsterism have led law enforcement agencies to urgently convene and deliberate mechanisms to stem the violence. During a briefing on outcomes reached during meetings of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and Cabinet this week, redress has been promised.

Surge in crime and killing of police officers ‘senseless and callous’ 

Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, said during the briefing that dealing with crime is a top priority for Cabinet, and made specific mention of police officers who have recently been killed in the line of duty. 

“Cabinet condemns the senseless and callous killing of police officers who have dedicated their lives to serve and protect,” he said. “The killing and attacking of police officers is a direct attack on the rule of law and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996.”

The killing of Western Cape Anti-Gang Unit Section Commander Charl Kinnear in September, and subsequent gang violence in communities around the Cape Town have led to the urgent request for a steering committee to be established to tackle exponentially rising criminality in line with a pledge made by Police Minister Bheki Cele and members of City leadership. 

The murder of 21-year-old Free State farmer Brendin Horner in early October was the catalyst for a mass mobilisation of the farming community to resist ongoing incidents of farm attacks and murders. Senekal became the festering crucible of racial division and civil unrest as a result, and several incidents that have taken place since have only served to inflame the tension.

Government working with communities to seek solutions  

Mthembu said that Cabinet extended its condolences to the families and friends of all officers who have died in the line of duty, including South African Police Service (SAPS) members:

  • Sergeant Mzoxolo Gxotani from the East London Tactical Response Team;
  • Groblersdal Station Commander Colonel Jeffrey Seroka in Limpopo;
  • Crime Intelligence Officer Ofentse Mokgadinyane;
  • Detective Sergeant Billy Mahooe in the Free State;
  • Sergeant Sibongile Teka, and; 
  • Constable Kganyisa Sitofile in the Western Cape.

Mthembu said that the incident that took place this week in which eight people aged between 30 and 40-years-old were gunned down by unknown assailants in Gugulethu, Western Cape is among the high-profile cases that law enforcement agencies are investigating 

“Cabinet assures the nation that police working with communities will ensure those involved in these criminal acts are arrested and face the full might of the law,” he said.