Soldiers will be deployed to the streets of crime hotspots in Cape Town following a string of murders in townships in the city, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced on Thursday.
Speaking at a media briefing after he tabled his budget vote in Parliament, Cele said President Cyril Ramaphosa had approved a request for the deployment after he sat down with Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
This was part of "extraordinary" measures to be deployed following a bloody weekend in the Mother City's townships where at least 13 people were killed in several shootings in Philippi East over the weekend.
"We are working on the matter of deployment. We have mentioned the places that we'll be sealing them off," Cele said.
Earlier on Thursday Cele challenged police generals to bring down the high rate of murders in the Western Cape or give up their uniforms.
"We are confronted with the sad reality of multiple burial activities in cemeteries, more than newborns in maternity wards," Cele told members of Parliament where he was tabling the SA Police Service and Independent Police Investigative Directorate budgets.
"The recurring scenes of scattered dead bodies in the streets of Phillippi, Mitchells Plain and Nyanga are unbearable. It is on that score than I challenge all generals in the South African police to surrender their uniforms if this situation does not improve."
At least 13 people were killed in several shootings in Philippi East over the weekend.
South Africa's murder rate increased by seven percent during the April 2017 to March 2018 reporting period, with a reported 57 people being killed a day.
Gang shootings in the Western Cape have seen the province maintain its reputation of being South Africa's murder capital. Of the 10 policing precincts where the highest murder rates were recorded, seven were in the Western Cape.
African News Agency (ANA)