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20% of deaths in Metro since 2016 are gun-related, DA says it's now a war zone

Aug 22, 2019
20% of deaths in Metro since 2016 are gun-related, DA says it's now a war zone

Port Elizabeth - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says Nelson Mandela Bay has become a brutal war zone which is characterized by extreme gun violence.

"It is time for a comprehensive rescue plan to be implemented to save our metro from this carnage! 20% of all deaths recorded at the Nelson Mandela Bay mortuary, over the last three years, are all gunshot related," said Bobby Stevenson (MPL), DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Safety and Security.

"In response to a parliamentary question the MEC for Health, Sindiswa Gomba, said that over the last three years there has been 1,130 gunshot related deaths.

"This has increased from 368 in the 2016/17 year to 415 in the 2018/19 financial year, and over 50% of these deaths, are gang related. Just under half of those killed are from multiple gunshot wounds."

Stevenson said that the Northern Areas have been hit the hardest with 52% of all gunshot deaths in the city.

"The greatest tragedy is the slaughter of children, which has increased by 36% over the last three years, giving it a total of 88 deaths." [SEE IQP Q 4 qq 94]

He said that the Nelson Mandela Bay has also been traumatised by a violent spate of political assassinations over recent months, "most notably, those related to the Drain Heist scandal".

Steven added that the Democratic Alliance believes that the following solutions can be applied:

  1. On-going intensive search and seizure operations.
  2. The immediate establishment of an anti-gang unit, failing which the Metro must consider stepping in. The City of Cape Town has a metro gang and drug task team to deal with drug and firearm crime.
  3. The establishment of illegal firearms hotline, with a reward of R10 000, for every illegal gun recovered. This is in operation in the Western Cape.
  4. Instillation of widespread gunshot detection system across the Metro. This has increased the recovery rate in the City of Cape Town five times. Over 72% of all firearms recovered are within a 7km radius of the gun detection equipment.
  5. The establishment of a more effective informer network by SAPS.

"The ongoing gun violence places a huge burden on our public health system, as it is drawing much needed resources away from other critical areas," he described.

"The pain and suffering experienced by victims and their families comes at an even greater cost.

"The DA is calling for swift action to eradicate this scourge. We will continue the fight for a safer Metro!"

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