09/10/2017 06:25 SAST | Updated 09/10/2017 06:25 SAST

Blame Game Between Maimane And Mbalula: Who's To Blame For Phillipi Violence?

The police and the DA-led government have blamed each other for violence that left 18 dead.

Felix Dlangamandla/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.

A blame game has erupted between Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and DA leader Mmusi Maimane, with both placing the blame for the spate of murders in Phillip and Nyanga near Cape Town at each others' doors.

Delivering the keynote address at the DA's Western Cape provincial congress on Saturday, Maimane asked why the police allocation in Phillip and Nyanga remained "far less" than other areas, Eyewitness News (EWN) reported.

Violence in the area has left 18 people dead in recent weeks.

The Social Justice Coalition and others have criticised the SA Police Service (SAPS) for not allocating enough resources to places like Nyanga and other informal settlements.

Last week, a community leader and member of the provincial leader, Nceba Hinana, said Mbalula, not the provincial government, was the only one who could dedicate more police resources to the area.

According to News24, Hinana said: "Dan Plato, the MEC for community safety in the province, does not have the legal powers to instruct the police. Only the national minister can," said Nceba Hinana, who is also a DA member of the provincial legislature.

"The reservists are no longer there. And there are not enough police available," said Hinana, one of a number of people waiting for Mbalula to arrive at the police station.

But on Sunday, Mbalula hit back at Maimane, saying crime in the area was the fault of the DA-led government that did not deliver services to the area. According to News24, Mbalula said: "Mmusi will know, if he cared to visit Marikana, that in Marikana there is no electricity, streets, which in main are basic things that allow proper policing. Therefore I expect Mmusi and his government to provide these basic service to our people instead of leading from conference podiums...I can confirm to Mmusi that in the centre of grievances of people of Marikana was bad lighting which is the competency of the local government. I must remind Mmusi that Marikana falls in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, under the government of the Democratic Alliance, which he leads (sic)."

Also on Sunday, Mbalula reportedly congratulated the Western Cape police for arresting 200 suspects in Nyanga and Philippi for various crimes over the weekend.

According to EWN, 177 suspects were arrested for rape and 59 on drug-related charges.