’Plain area based team meets

Department of Community Safety’s deputy director for community police relations Justin Lottring addresses Mitchell’s Plain community police forum chairman Norman Jantjes, Mitchell’s Plain police station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam, various other department representatives and community workers.

Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (CPF) chairman Norman Jantjes said residents deserve “a safe city, a safe Mitchell’s Plain” – not a war zone.

He emphasised this at an area-based teams workshop at Mitchell’s Plain police station’s boardroom on Thursday March 31. The meeting was attended by, among others, representatives of national government departments, the Western Cape government, City of Cape Town and community workers

It was hosted by the provincial department of community safety and formed part of the province’s safety plan which aims to cut the murder rate in half by creating safe and cohesive communities.

“We want the government representatives to guide us with realising the finalising of a safety plan, which we would like to present to the mayor,” Mr Jantjes said, explaning that this would be a three-year plan, which required the commitment, resources, funds and a partnership from the government.

He said currently Mitchell’s Plain residents were living in a war zone.

“We are not at war (like that in Ukraine) but we have murders daily,” he said.

He also called for a gang intervention plan.

“Gangsterism is abnormal. We must agitate for it. Our community has become too tolerant and without intervention gangsterism will remain attractive,” he said.

Mitchell’s Plain police station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam, however, added that gangsterism was not the biggest threat to the community. The biggest threat was, in fact, the community, he said.

“It is the community that harvest them (the gangsters). We need to mobilise the community to not tolerate gangsterism and not to live in fear of crime. Help us secure witnesses. Come to court and refuse bail for suspects,” he said.

Brigadier Goolam said the “exchange of money” – extortion – caused cases to be withdrawn.

He said at Mitchell’s Plain station, they had a no case withdrawal stance and that only the prosecutor could withdraw a case on legal grounds.