Police Minister Bheki Cele in Portlands. Photo: Tracey Adams/ANA Pictures
A new plan by national Police Minister Bheki Cele will see nearly 300 new officers deployed in Mitchells Plain to tackle drug dealers, gang violence and outstanding warrants.

Cele launched Operation Thunder in Portlands on Tuesday, but community crime fighters were not too impressed.

“We sat down and we listened and realised we must do something extra,” Cele said.

“We have brought 269 people to specialise and look after your streets. We will be making sure we get the list of those who do ugly things.”

Cele called on residents to stop hiding criminals.

“These criminals come from your houses. These criminals are your sons, your husbands and your boyfriends. Don’t tell us you don’t know them,” he said.

He said Operation Thunder would last three months.

But Community Police Forum cluster chairperson, Lucinda Evans, was not impressed and said police needed to do more to tackle crime.

Video: Monique Duval/Daily Voice

“I want to say to you, minister, that we need service, one percent are keeping our children hostage and we cannot walk on the streets,” she said.

Addressing those present, she said: “I want to say these people are not our friends. They are killing our children, raping our women and destroying families.

“Don’t be corrupted with them. They will bribe you, give you gifts. But they will also kill you, so you need to be vigilant,” she said as the crowd cheered.

Pastor Dean Ramjoomia said the second suspension of Mitchells Plain Station Commander, Brigadier Cass Goolam, has left mense puzzled as the community was not given reasons for it.

He hinted there may be a conspiracy against “good cops”.

“Men of action are being taken out, men who have dedicated their lives to crime-fighting. We want to know why these things seem to be happening in an orchestrated way on the Cape Flats,” he said.

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