Port Elizabeth gang members handed stiff sentences

JULY 15, 2016

Alleged Port Elizabeth gang member, Pieter Pretorius (25 years) will spent the next 18 years behind bars after the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court convicted him for the attempted murder of a 26 year-old Bloemendal man in 2015

"On 24 September 2015, at about 20:30, Pretorius entered a house in Bloemendal and fired several shots at the victim . The victim sustained injuries to his stomach, buttocks and thigh," described police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu.

"Pretorius was arrested a month after the shooting and detained for attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition.

"On Thursday, he was convicted as follows: attempted murder – 13 years, illegal possession of a firearm – 5 years and illegal possession of ammunition – 1 year. The sentence for illegal possession of ammunition will run concurrently with the other two charges hence he will effectively serve 18 years in prison."

Colonel Naidu said that these were the rewards of the police and the prosecuting authority working extremely hard and in a coordinated manner to remove criminals from our streets.

In another case, on Monday, Candice Nel (22) was sentenced in the Port Elizabeth Regional court after being convicted for the unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

"On 2 July 2015, at about 22:35, members from the Visible Gang Intervention Team were patrolling in Voissen Street Gelvandale when they noticed a group of people walking (four males and two females)," described Colonel Naidu.

"As the police members approached them, they noticed that one of the male’s removed something from his trousers and handed it to one of the females.  When the police vehicle stopped next to the group, the male suspect ran away. On searching the female, police found a 9mm Norinco pistol and a magazine with 7 rounds of ammunition.  She was arrested and charged."

Nel was sentenced as follows: Unlawful possession of firearm – five years; unlawful possession of ammunition – 18 months.

"Both counts will run concurrently. Nel will effectively serve 6 years and 6 months in prison.  At the time of the offence, the accused had an affiliation with the Upstand Dog gang," said Colonel Naidu.

The Cluster Commander for Mount Road Cluster, Maj Gen Dawie Rabie has commended the prosecuting authority, investigating officers in both cases and the arresting officers for the arrest and successful prosecution.

“Through intensified partnerships, the tide is now turning and criminals are beginning to feel the pressure. Sentences such as these enhances the public’s confidence in the police and the criminal justice system,” said Maj Gen Rabie.

Meanwhile, Port Elizabeth police condemned the community of Gelvandale for pelting Operation Lockdown police officers, who were pursuing wanted suspect on Thursday. One person was later arrested for public violence.