No need for army in Port Elizabeth gang areas, says Cele

No need for army in Port Elizabeth gang areas, says Cele

Police minister Bheki Cele, flanked by defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and home affairs minister Siyabonga Cwele, addresses journalists in Pretoria on Monday. PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/African News Agency (ANA)

‘Fighting gangsterism and related crimes such as drug and substance abuse is a national priority,’ Cele said.

Police in the gang infested northern areas of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape are equal to the task of crime prevention and there is no need to deploy the army.

This is the view of Police Minister Bheki Cele, who told community members that instead, operational interventions will be intensified to tackle gang violence in the area.

On Thursday Cele addressed residents at Booysen’s Park in Port Elizabeth saying “there is no need to deploy the army in gangster areas as police are equal to the task”.

The minister also received an update from the Provincial Coordinator of the Anti-gang unit that is deployed to tackle gang activity. Thus far, 37 people have been arrested and convicted for gang related crimes since the start of the operation last year, the minister was told.

“Fighting gangsterism and related crimes such as drug and substance abuse is a national priority,” Cele said.

Last month, Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane handed over new vehicles to the anti-gang unit in an effort to intensify the fight against crime. The establishment of the anti-gang unit at a national level speaks to the seriousness with which government takes the fight against crime, Cele offered.

“Three provinces are on the high radar when it comes to gangster-related crimes and police have a strong presence in the Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape to stabilise the situation and maintain law and order,” he added.

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