Statistics shared by the Western Cape government this week have left local residents open-mouthed, as almost 2 000 murders were recorded in the province since last November.
Murders in the Western Cape
The abhorrent figures were made public by the DA’s premier candidate for the Western Cape, Alan Winde. He has slammed the national ANC government for failing to respond to their calls for help, and both Winde and Minister of Police Bheki Cele are heading for mediation in their inter-governmental dispute:
“Minister Cele has acknowledged receipt of our dispute. He has 30 days in which to provide my office with a date to enter into mediation. As stipulated by the Constitution, the ball is firmly in his court to address the Western Cape’s Provincial Needs and Priorities (PnP).”
“Should he fail to adhere to our 30-day deadline, we would not hesitate to go the legal route and seek relief from the courts.”
When the data is laid bare, it’s easy to understand why Alan Winde is so frustrated with this impasse: A total of 1 875 people have been murdered in the Western Cape between 1 November 2018 – 30 April 2019, a tally that almost defies belief. The shock stats don’t end there, either:
- Just last month, mortuary statistics indicate 308 people were killed.
- There were 139 fatal shootings in April 2019 alone.
- Stabbings have also increased, looking at the year-on-year basis, with 79 people stabbed last month.
Western Cape murders: What happens next?
The provincial government have applied for R5 million to reignite the police reservist programme and get more officers on-duty, patrolling the streets. These requests have fallen on deaf ears.
The DA has even suggested sending the army into some of the Cape’s most notorious gang hot-spots, but there’s been no progress on that front, either.
The Blues also offered to deploy their own employees as Commissioners of Oaths in police stations, to relieve officers of their administrative burdens. The party must now wait on Cele’s response, who has until 5 June to acknowledge the issue before things could head to the courtroom.