Cops descend on country's murder capital

Tammy Petersen, News24

Cape Town - Authorities descended on the country’s murder capital on Tuesday for a "lock down operation" in the violence-plagued Nyanga precinct.

Dubbed Operation Stopper, the action saw police officers, traffic officials, law enforcement officers and SAPS’ specialised units take to Browns Farm and Samora Machel.

National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega said, last month alone, 22 illegal guns were seized in the area.

"For the past couple of years, the Nyanga precinct has earned the status of murder capital of the country," she said.

"Operation Stopper will continue for some time until the situation has stabilised."

Policing the area is difficult as Nyanga comprises 18 informal settlements and 20 formal housing areas, Phiyega said.

Despite this, provincial police commissioner Major General Thembisile Patekile confirmed the operation resulted in the recovery of two stolen cars and a hijacked truck as well as the confiscation of 228kg of dagga and 141 litres of liquor.

Four people were arrested for drug dealing, two for drunk driving, three for possession of drugs and two for possession of stolen vehicles.

'Too many people are dying in these streets'

Browns Farm residents welcomed the sea of blue lights on Tuesday.

"This is good," mother-of-two Nomsa Siya told News24.

"People die here every day. The tsotsis aren't afraid of the police because when the cops come, they run like cockroaches between the shacks.

"They need to patrol here more often. Too many people are dying in these streets. It must stop."

After losing her brother when he was shot dead during a robbery two years ago, Sihle Ngubeni insisted the action was long overdue.

"The lives of the people living in Nyanga are also important. When someone is killed in the suburbs, the cops are... on the case. But when someone dies here, no one is even shocked anymore."