Safety MEC vows to end gang violence

The days of gangs who terrorise communities in and around Barberton will soon be a thing of the past.

This is according to MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Vusi Shongwe, who was speaking during the Public Participation Programme (Imbizo) that was held in Emjindini outside Barberton last Saturday.

Safety MEC vows to end gang violence
Community members.

Shongwe said they used the existence of gangs in business people in order to destabilise their competitors. He explained that some old people use gangs deliberately because gangs mainly comprise underage children who cannot be prosecuted.

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“There are leaders and business people who use children for their personal gain. These include some tavern and taxi owners who want to destroy their rivals. Tell all those evil people that their days are numbered,” said Shongwe. He added that as part of responding to crime in the area; the department working with various stakeholders will implement programmes regularly. Meanwhile, most of the residents at Imbizo complained the police took too long to respond to the crime scenes.

Safety MEC vows to end gang violence
Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Daphney Semakaleng Manamela.

They also bemoaned that some police officers are colluding with criminals. Such that they even compromise sensitive information provided by communities. They also brought a lack of feedback on the case opened under the spotlight. Another community member suggested it should build a police station in the township to enable quicker response to crime scenes.

READ MORE | Community Safety officials arrested for R60 million corruption

One issue that is believed to be perpetuating crime is illegal miners known as zama-zamas. These groupings are allegedly dominated by illegal foreign nationals. They also cited alcohol abuse as the contributor to high incidences of contact crimes as some complained about tavern owners who opened beyond trading hours.

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