Police bosses say officers with varying levels of expertise have been pooled together to restore law and order on the Cape Flats.
Minister Bheki Cele attended the inspection of the Anti-Gang Intervention Unit’s parade, in the Cape Town community of Bishop Lavis on Friday.
He praised officers for their commitment, but also reminded them to protect the vulnerable.
South African Police Service officials say 13 suspects have been arrested for murder and six for attempted murder since the unit’s establishment last week.
Cele says the Saps should restore residents’ hope that more peaceful surroundings are on the horizon.
“Gangsters, I repeat, gangsters, because they represent nobody…you must be tough on them in all forms.”
He encouraged officers to use their weapons to protect communities and also reminded them that the law is there to protect them while they execute their mandate.
“That’s why we give teachers chalk, we give doctors stethoscopes, those are tools of trade, you have yours, these are to be used.”
About 64 members from the Anti-Gang Unit were present at the parade while others were deployed to communities.