Gangsterism in Port Elizabeth now a 'catastrophe': DA

JULY 14, 2016

Despite the SAPS' anti-crime effort in Port Elizabeth's Northern Areas, dubbed Operation Lockdown, continuing to make some successes in combating gangsterism and other crimes, particularly in Gelvandale and Bethelsdorp, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Bay says more needs to be done as things are getting out of hand.

"As news breaks of two more shootings this afternoon in PE’s Northern Areas, resulting in another death, the gangsterism crisis in our Metro has now reached catastrophic levels," said Athol Trollip, the DA's Mayoral candidate for the Bay in the upcoming 2016 Local Government Elections.

"The people of Nelson Mandela Bay are living in a constant state of fear.

"Gang shootings have now claimed the lives of at least seven people in the last thirteen days, and another eleven have been seriously wounded."

Trollip said that Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan’s metro police "farce has again been exposed as nothing more than an election stunt".

"With shootings on the rise, the NMB metro police under the leadership of Danny Jordaan’s criminal pal, Linda Mti, is failing miserably at keeping our people safe, having not yet made a single gang-related arrest," he added.

"Without specialised anti-gang and -drug units, the South African Police Service and the NMB Metro Police will continue to lose the battle against gangsters and criminals."

He said that he first wrote to the Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko, on the 18th February 2016 requesting the following action steps:

  1. Introduction of a third, mobile police station in Helenvale.
  2. Immediate attention to the SAPS vehicle fleet to ensure that 100% of all vehicles are operational.
  3. Recruit the requisite police officers at each police station, to ensure safety is restored.

"Given the urgency of the matter, I requested a response with 14 days. To date, the Minister has not yet replied confirming that the ANC is not serious about safety and security in the Bay," described Trollip.

"I have again written to the Minister and now to Mayor Jordaan, given the spate of killings over the last few days, urging them to start taking our peoples’ safety seriously."

He said that in the Western Cape, where the DA leads, the charge against gangsterism with the City of Cape Town Metro Police making over 5000 arrests a year, reducing violent crime by over 20% in some of the city’s most dangerous communities.

"The NMB Metro Police under the DA will have dedicated anti-gang and anti-drug units, to assist the SAPS in fighting gangsterism and crime," Tollip said.

"The DA is committed to establishing a functional and effective Metro Police service. In government in NMB we would ensure that a Metro Police service clamps down on crime and gangsterism from the get go by permanently deploying excellently-trained officers to all dangerous communities."