Residents fear for safety after gang violence

The panel discusses a plan against gang violnce.

LotusRiver residents fear that innocent people will die if the gang violence in the area is not quelled.

Over the past two weeks there has been an increase in shootings between rival gangs.

Sporadicshootings were reported, and Grassy Park police responded to the complaints, but according to police no criminal cases were registered.

The community came in their numbers to attend a meeting at the Lotus River Recreational Centre in Buck Road Tuesday September 4.

The meeting was called by ward councillor Patricia van der Ross and on the panel were representatives of Grassy Park police and Metro police as well as Sub-council 18 chairperson Shannon Rossouw.

“There have been a few shootings and we have come together to try and get a plan on how we will address the gang violence. We need to put our foot down,” said Ms Van der Ross.

A resident who only identified herself as Kariema said the community need to stand up.

“We need to stop being scared of standing up to these illiterate fools (gangsters). We are being shot and killed in our own homes and being held hostage.

“The constitution says that there is only one armed force allowed in this country, which is the SA National Defence Force.

“The gangsters should be arrested for treason and terrorism to the country because what’s happening in our community across the Cape is terrorism because they are an armed force and have their generals and different ranks. They are a threat to the citizens of this country,” she said.

She also complained about the response times of police when called out to respond to crimes.

JenniferEksteen said parents needed to take responsibility for their children and their actions. “It starts at home. Our children are being used by these drug lords. We need to stop this and report these gangsters and drug lords. You as a parent have the power to do something,” she said.

Charl Kitching, head of the City’s specialised units, said Metro police had been active in the area.

“Our functions is exactly the same as police, with the exception of investigating crime. We respond to crime related matters and by-law issues. We have, however, much less officers than Grassy Park police because we cover the whole of the metro south area which is a bigger area than
the police precinct. We will assist police as
much as possible to tackle the gang element,” he said.

Constable Winston van Schalkwyk from Grassy Park police said they were doing all they could to fight gangsterism.

“We have made arrests and we’ve taken a lot of guns off the streets. We are investigating the gang cases and are out doing operations. We also urge residents to report gang activity and where the guns and drugs are. That is the only way we can make a dent in this gang activity,” he said.

Ms Rossouw said residents needed to report gang and drug houses to the City.

“We have a list of all the drug houses, we urge people to come forward so that the necessary steps can be taken to get these criminals out of our communities.”