Murder statistics for the Cape Town metro region have shown a decline from previous weekends, Western Cape government officials announced on Monday.
A total of 25 murders were recorded over the weekend by the province’s forensic pathology services unit, compared with 43 last weekend, and 55 in the weekend prior.
Of the 25 people murdered, 18 were shot, four were stabbed and three were killed by other means.
Three people were shot in Mitchells Plain at the weekend, two in Khayelitsha, while a 32-year old policeman was murdered in Delft early on Sunday morning.
Soldiers have been deployed to assist with police operations in various communities, including Hanover Park and Manenberg, over the weekend, with residents in some areas reporting that the weekend had been mostly peaceful.
The army arrived in Cape Town on 10 July, a week after Police Minister Bheki Cele announced South African National Defence Force troops would be deployed to gang-plagued areas on the Cape Flats to assist the South African Police Service.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said on Monday: “This are still 25 murders too many, but we are pleased to see that the presence of the army is having some impact in our communities, who are tired of crime and living in fear.
“We appeal to the police to continue to make maximum use of this period of relative stability to catch the culprits who are driving crime and disorder in our communities.”
He said the Western Cape government will be working on a long-term plan to address the root causes of crime, to stimulate more economic opportunities, and to ramp up services to high-crime communities.
However, on Sunday there was little the soldiers could do to stop Kraaifontein residents from destroying a road with pickaxes and spades after an alleged drunk taxi driver knocked down a teenage boy.
The incident happened as soldiers were airdropped by helicopters in Scottsdene, and arrived in the area in several armoured vehicles.
Police and soldiers kept back as angry community members broke up the tar in Buitesingel Street where Michael Flavours, 13, sustained injuries to his head and upper body.
The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital where he is currently in a stable condition.
Police spokesperson Siyabulela Malo confirmed the driver was arrested.
“A case of reckless and negligent driving has been opened for investigation after the 29-year old suspect knocked over a 13-year-old boy in Buiten Crescent, Scottsdene, about 3.15 pm,” he said.
“The suspect is expected to make a court appearance in Kuils River Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.”
Resident Ronnie McKay, 58, says: “We’ve had enough of people getting knocked over in this road by reckless drivers. That is why people are now taking the law into their own hands.
“The police said we were disturbing the peace and threatened to shoot us with rubber bullets but did nothing. We want speed bumps in this road.”
Father Graham Lewis said he was glad the army was present and people would be safer now.
“Why didn’t they send the army in five years ago when my son was shot and killed? He could still have been alive,” the hartseer dad said.