Ricochet News

Warning over video showing armed residents 'threatening' PE gangs

May 28, 2019
Warning over video showing armed residents 'threatening' PE gangs

Port Elizabeth - Port Elizabeth police on Monday said that they have noted with concern a video clip doing the rounds depicting civilians walking in the streets of Gelvandale, in the Northern Areas, with loud hailers and firearms calling out to gangs.

Gang-related shootings continue in Port Elizabeth's Northern Areas despite efforts by authorities to curb the violence.

"The police have, since these postings investigated the authenticity of the clip and have opened a case in terms of the Gatherings Act," said police spokesperson, Col Priscilla Naidu.

"It is alleged that on Sunday, at about 14:00, a convoy of civilians proceeded through the streets of Gelvandale brandishing alleged firearms.

"The convoy was stopped by police as they entered Ext 31 in Bethelsdorp. They were dispersed by police."

Around 500 residents from Ext 31, in Bethelsdorp, came out in their numbers in support of a mass prayer meeting that was held in an open field near Barberry Drive in Bethelsdorp.

They were addressed by Station Commander, Brig Zolani Xawuka, who urged them to join hands with the police in addresseing the scourge of gang violence.

"We have to help our children to stay on the right track and the only way we can do that is, if we as parents do our part. We cannot harbour criminals living among us. They need to be exposed as they have a direct influence on our children. No parent would want to believe that their children have trodden on thorny ground but the reality is that as parents we have lost control to a certain extent and have allowed our children to do what they want hence the alarming rate of children and youth involved in serious and violent crimes," Brig Xawuka said.

"Every human being has the fundamental right not to experience violence or any other form of abuse and thinking that crimes such as these are ‘not our business’ or have no effect on you personally or within your community, then we are fooling ourselves and burying our heads in the sand. There is a concept that adults have unlimited rights in the upbringing of a child and this has often led to many instances of violence in the home, school or other institution."

Various church leaders echoed the sentiments of Brig Xawuka and urged the communities to come together and help our youth onto the right path. The prayer gathering was a success and there were no incidents.

Col Naidu said that police are warning community members that they are not above the law and such acts is tantamount to intimidation and can have tragic results.

Police insist that those found breaking the law will be arrested

"Any marches must be done within the ambit of the law. Acts such as this is seen as counteracting our efforts of constructive and meaningful engagements with community leaders and religious fraternities," she explined.

"The SAPS will not allow a state of lawlessness while stamping the authority of the State.

"The above matter will be investigated and those found to be contravening the law will be dealt with and brought before court."

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