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ANC Caucus at Bhisho 'notes' anti-gang violence protest by Khoisan Chiefs

Nov 27, 2018
ANC Caucus at Bhisho 'notes' anti-gang violence protest by Khoisan Chiefs

The African National Congress (ANC) Caucus in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature on Tuesday said that it notes with the deep concern, the gravity of the gang violence in Port Elizabeth’s Northern Areas – a situation which has led to the Khoisan Chiefs protest outside the Bhisho State House.

The protest is led by ANC Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL), Christian Martin, and Khoisan Chiefs, Crawford Fraser and Cora Hennings, who spent the weekend sleeping in a coffin in front of Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle’s, office in Bhisho.

"Our concern is particularly regarding the report that 78 people have perished due to gang violence between April and October 2018," said ANC Chief Whip in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, Fundile Gade.

"We wish to state a significant level of discomfort with the nature of the protest which has seen the pitching of 78 crosses representing those, who have been killed in the crossfire between warring gangs in the area; and one protester sleeping in a coffin – an act which is aimed at showing the nation the uncomfortable and awkward conditions in which the people of the northern areas live.

Gade said that the ANC Caucus acknowledges the widespread gang violence which has claimed victims across the colour bar, and wishes to express sincere admiration towards the Chiefs for taking this bold step in an attempt to bring the matter to the attention of provincial lawmakers.

"We hold a firm view that this battle can only be won if it is fought in that context, as the alienation of any section of the community bears the potential of defeating the ends of this noble campaign," he added.

"We appreciate the gravity of the situation in the area, and acknowledge the various shortcomings that have led to the protest taking place – the ready availability of firearms and the protracted operation and reproduction of gangs in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth being part of the problem."

ANC Caucus at Bhisho says Khoisan Chiefs must work Departments to find solutions

He said that, in appreciating the urgent meeting between the protesters and the Premier scheduled to take place on Tuesday, the ANC was pleading with the Chiefs to work with the Offices of the Chief Whip of the Legislature, Premier and MEC for Safety and Liaison in finding a lasting solution that brings relief to people of all races in the area – in line with the principles of the ANC which seek to realise safer communities for all.  

"The ANC Caucus hereby makes a commitment to work closely with law enforcement agencies and communities within Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in an effort to identify the ring-leaders, ensure that they are brought to book, and ultimately eradicate the scourge of gang related violence which is steadily killing our nation," Gade added.

"We wish to make a clarion call to communities for the intensification of community policing initiatives – as gangsters inevitably belong to families which are part of the community."

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