President Cyril Ramaphosa emerged from a BMW SUV with his full security entourage and stepped onto the trash-laden‚ gang-ruled streets of Cape Town’s Hanover Park.
Crowds of people‚ young and old‚ gathered to see the president. Hundreds of police officers surrounded the area‚ with army snipers set up on rooftops.
“Where are the gangsters?” asked the president. “I want to meet them. I want to take them on‚” he said with a laugh. The crowds cheered.
Ramaphosa was in Hanover Park on Friday morning to meet the residents of the dangerous suburb and to announce his gang police task force initiative.
Hanover Park is a part of the Philippi police precinct. Police crime statistics show that the number of murders in the precinct rose from 19 in 2009‚ to 35 in 2012‚ to 74 in 2015‚ to 87 in 2018 (source: Crimestatssa).
The president walked about the streets of Hanover Park to shake hands‚ kiss babies and make his stance against gang violence clear.