Police minister Bheki Cele has introduced a task team of the Western Cape’s anti-gang unit at a parade at the Bishop Lavis Police Academy.

The launch of the unit follows an outcry by Cape Flats residents for a specialised unit to address gang violence.

Cele says the mandate of the unit is to protect communities against criminals.

Cele has given the task force strict instructions not to give any space to criminals, but to go out there and protect the communities who have been victims of gang violence for many years. He says the launch of the unit is his department’s response to calls for more police.

“We have pulled together the group of women and men in blue. At the moment they are a task force we will be converting them permanently as the anti-gang unit working in the Peninsula. Already they have done a good job.”

Western Cape Community Safety Minister, Dan Plato has welcomed the introduction of a task team, which will form part of the province’s anti-gang unit.

“I think it will bring the necessary comfort in so many of our communities. They will take into custody, they will open cases, they will take dockets to court of law, to contain the drug and gang situation on the Cape Flats.”

Some Uitsig residents have expressed mixed feelings following the introduction of the anti-gang task force.

“The community is more satisfied. We need more police.”

“They must bring in the death penalty that would be one of the greatest solutions.”

“You can bring 1000 police it will not have a solution. Change the law, please minister change the justice system.”

Plans are underway to roll out the anti-gang unit nationally.

Cele says the Special Forces will also be deployed in other provinces — where there is a need like KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.