CAPE TOWN – Six South African Police Service anti-gang unit members have been shot in the Samora Machel informal settlement in Nyanga, Cape Town.
The incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Police were conducting an operation in the community when they came under attack. Police said anti-gang unit members had arrested one suspect allegedly linked to recent murders in the area.
Spokesperson brigadier Novella Potelwa said as they were searching for another suspect, the officers came under attack.
All members have been admitted to hospital. Police said the area, a known hide-out for criminals, was difficult to access and was poorly lit.
Meanwhile, police were still hunting for the gunmen involved in two separate shooting incidents in Blackheath on Tuesday.
1 COP FOR EVERY 509 PEOPLE
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said police were woefully under-resourced in the province. Winde revealed on Tuesday that the police to population ratio was one police officer for every 509 people in the province. In the Cape Town metro it was one officer for 560 people.
According to the 2017/18 crime figures, national murder rate increased by almost 7%, which translates to 57 murders a day. The latest crime statistics show that detectives in Nyanga, Cape Town, investigate 308 murders a year on average. This was 27 more than the previous financial year.
Kraaifontein, also in Cape Town, recorded the biggest jump with a staggering 31% increase in murders. The stats also show how almost all gang-related murders in South Africa were recorded in the Western Cape.
Winde said Western Cape police had to investigate at least 10 new murders per day and it did not include the thousands of other crimes that make up their caseloads.
Winde said the province desperately required additional crime intelligence resources to curb crime.
He also said the provincial government was doing all it could by equipping neighbourhood watches and instituting watching briefs to monitor the court process after an arrest has been made. He stressed that no progress would be made if policing resources were not improved.
Winde said he would continue with the intergovernmental dispute to force police to deploy more resources to the province. He said they were also prepared to fund the revival of a police reservist programme.