Gangland Port Elizabeth: Several people shot in 24hrs

SEPTEMBER 15, 2015

Port Elizabeth police were on Tuesday reportedly investigating a sudden surge in gang violence in the City's Northern Areas after three people were shot dead and several others wounded in the space of 24 hours.

The violence was sparked by a suspected gang hit that claimed the life of a suspected gang banger near the Mercantile centre in Port Elizabeth on Monday afternoon. The 26-year-old man was shot eight times at close range after a taxi he was travelling in had stopped to off-load passengers.

According to police, a few hours later, at around 6pm, two armed assailants fired six shots at a 36 year-old man and his 26 year-old friend, whom they found outside a Gelvandale house. The 36 year-old, identified as ermaine 'Billo' Esau, later died in hospital. 

About an hour later, an unkown number of men invaded into a house in Malabar and fired nine shots at the occupants wounding a 30 year-old man and his 22 year-old wife. A 23 year-old man escaped unharmed.

At around the same time in Korsten, about three gangsters fired 23 shots at a 25 year-old man - he is recovering in hospital. 

On Tuesday morning, at around 9 o'clock, two gang bangers reportedly fired 11 shots at a 36 year-old man in Bethelsdorp. He died on the scene. 

At around lunchtime on Tuesday, a man was shot in a drive-by shooting in Gelvandale.

It is estimated that there are 21 street gangs or more gangs operating in the Port Elizabeth area alone. Turf wars are common as the gangs have their hands in drug peddling and abalone poaching among other illegal trades.

For example, an SABC Special Assaignment investigation found that in the Helenvale area, there were more than 10 gangs and only 43 drug posts - meaning only the more aggressive gang would win.

In 2012, the warring gangs agreed to a truce but this only lasted for one year. 

Each there is a shooting, there is a retaliatory shooting and the cycle continues. 

Police are appealing to anyone with information on the latest shootings to call 082 387 6320.

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