W Cape declares war on gang violence, unlicensed firearms

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Cape Town – As deadly gang-battles rage on the Cape Flats, the Western Cape Community MEC Dan Plato called on police to beef up intelligence in a bid to track down the origins of firearms flooding the Cape underworld.

This comes in the wake of the fatal May Day shooting in Tiara Road in Leonsdale, Elsies River, which left three people dead and 10 others injured.

Police said three men aged 50, 37 and 17 were fatally wounded, while ten other victims between 15 and 53-years-old, who were injured during the incident, were transported to hospital for treatment.

Traumatised residents claimed the attack was linked to an ongoing drug turf-war between the ‘Bad Boys” and “Terribles” gangs.

MEC Plato said his department, on request from the community, has scheduled an open air vigil to be held in Elsies River on Sunday.

He said the loss of life was not only tragic but senseless since it affected innocent people who are not part of gangsterism and drugs.

“It is shocking to see how many of our youths are seemingly trapped in this vicious cycle of drugs and gangs. This is evident in the fact that people on the scene claimed the attackers were mostly young men believed to be from the Leonsdale area,” he said.

The MEC said it is concerning that on a public holiday - when most residents were at home, enjoying the day with their families – brazen gun-wielding attackers randomly opened fire on people outside their homes.

“We now have a situation where even children as young as 12-years-old are armed with guns. Parents need to become far more involved and vigilant in their children’s upbringing.

The MEC said no matter what the circumstance, no mother and father should allow their children to be glorified drug runners.

“The lifespan of our children is being cut short as a result of their involvement in these gangs.”

The MEC added that he already approached the provincial police management regarding the spike in gang violence and has been given the assurance that police are working tirelessly to rid communities of drugs and gangs.

“These gang bosses all have a narrow mindset which always ends in nothing but blood and death. They crave money, power and control. They are not interested in being part of a peaceful community; they want to make profit off the suffering of our communities who are being enslaved by drugs,” the MEC said.

He added that government will explore ways to change this violent culture.

Meanwhile, Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said the investigation is ongoing and the circumstances’ surrounding the shooting is still being probed.

Rwexana urged the public to come forward with information regarding the attack.

“All information provided will be treated with the utmost confidentiality,” Rwexana added. – SAnews.gov.za-TLM

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