Cape Town – Anti-crime activists say they expect acting police commissioner Thembisile Patekile of the newly appointed Western Cape, who had his first full day on the job on Monday, to bring strategic leadership and stability to the provincial police service. Patekile, who replaced Commissioner Yolisa Mokgabudi (formerly Matakata), is from the Port Elizabeth office of the Mount Road Cluster, where he was appointed as District Commissioner of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in 2018.
Patekile said one of his plans would be to root out illegal street firearms, saying that most of the murders, attempted murders, robberies, and some of the cases of gender-based violence were carried out using illegal firearms. He said it meant that within the province there was a proliferation of firearms, “therefore we need to get to that space of firearms, to save lives” Patekile said they needed to ensure partnership with community stakeholders, “because crime is committed in the case of the Cape Flats and squatter camps at street and block level.”
He said that because they were still busy committing crimes, they also needed to tighten their investigations to bring to book those people who were never arrested for committing crime. Patekile said, “We will also be on a mission to quell taxi violence and organised crimes such as extortion,”. He said he was looking forward to working with the government of the Western Cape, community police forums (CPFs), neighborhood watches, metro police, and law enforcement officers of the city.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz stated that his working relationship with Matakata was marked by transparency and openness and thanked her for her service. As Acting Divisional Commissioner: Crime Intelligence, which comes less than two years after she took over as the top cop of the province in December 2019, Matakata is expected to take on duties. This was amid previous allegations of the apparent failure of her predecessor, Khombinkosi Jula, at the time to bring down the level of crime in the province. Jula, who was transferred to take the helm on August 1, 2019 in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), apparently left the police service last month.