Saturday 23rd Sep 2017

Jason Felix - Cape Argus - 

Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi Picture: Soraya Crowie- 

Cape Town - In a chilling admission, Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi, said guns that disappeared last week from the Bellville South and Mitchells Plain stations were stolen by member of the SAPS and sold to gangsters.

“Those firearms that you (the media) have reported on. They did not just disappear. They were stolen by our own members. There are SAPS officers stealing guns and giving it to the gangs. It is an inside job. We know this is happening. How do you explain police officers going to parties of ganglords? Of course you are going to lose your firearms, because the guns are being stolen,” Mkongi told a media briefing in Parliament.

He said gang violence on the Cape Flats had spiralled out of control and that internal corruption within the police has aided the problem.

He announced a new gang strategy which includes the re-introduction of specialised gang units.

Mkongi requested a report from the station commanders of Bellville South and Mitchells Plain and is planning a visit to the two stations “in due course”.

He said 18 firearms, mostly assault rifles, were stolen from the arms storeroom at Bellville South and another 15 assault rifle at Mitchells Plain police stations.

Mgonki said Bellville South and Mitchells Plain and other areas on the Cape Flats had been turned into ganglands where innocent residents had little control over their safety.

Cash-in-transit heists surge by 135% in Western Cape

Joseph Booysen - Cape Argus -

According to the statistics compiled by Sabric between January 1 and August 31 this year there have been 232 incidents reported across the industry. Picture: Lianne Butler

Cape Town - Cash-In-Transit robberies in the Western Cape have skyrocketed by a 135% compared to last year, while countrywide the figure is up by 49%.

These shocking statistics were revealed by Kalyani Pillay, chief executive of he South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric).

According to the statistics compiled by Sabric between January 1 and August 31 this year there have been 232 incidents reported across the industry using different modus operandi, cross-pavement attacks being the most prevalent.

Pillay said the 49% increase referred only to cash-in-transit crimes and did not include business robberies.

Wahl Bartman, Fidelity Group chief executive, said they had seen a surge in cash-in-transit heists countrywide this year, with an alarming increase in attacks on cash vehicles and guards.

The syndicates carrying out these crimes were sophisticated and highly organised, he said. “We are constantly evolving our technology and changing our procedures to ensure we stay a step ahead of the criminals. Unfortunately, the increase in crime, coupled with high unemployment is causing robberies and heists to spike.

"We have also seen a move from urban areas where we have clamped down quite substantially, to the outlying areas."

Pillay said heists were no longer confined to urban areas, but had spread to rural towns across the country.

She said the provinces that experienced the highest increases in the past eight months included the Western Cape followed by North West and Gauteng.

“Sabric is working closely with Fidelity and other cash-in-transit companies as well as law-enforcement officials to analyse the crime risk information and jointly come up with strategies and risk-mitigation measures to deal with this crisis.”

Gareth Newham, head of the justice and violence prevention programme at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, said for most of the past decade cash-in-transit heists had been on the decline.

Newham said however, that this year would be the second consecutive year that the police recorded an increase.

“The SAPS's crime intelligence needs to be sorted out. It is increasingly urgent that suspended crime intelligence head Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli is brought before an independent disciplinary hearing to answer to serious allegations."

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