180 reasons for urgent action on Nelson Mandela Bay gang violence

180 reasons for urgent action on Nelson Mandela Bay gang violence

Call for crime summit as killings grip northern areas

Gang violence has claimed more than 180 lives in Nelson Mandela Bay in the past two years, leaving countless families heartbroken and residents constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering when they will be next.

On too many occasions, it has been a stray bullet that has robbed parents of their innocent children as gang wars rage on.

A recent motion by the DA has called on community safety MEC Xolile Nqatha to host a crime summit within the next two months for role players to discuss possible solutions to the ongoing scourge in the northern areas.

However, community and religious leaders say they do not care who comes up with the answers, as long as there are results — and they can finally live in peace.

At the same time, questions have been asked about political parties using calls to action to gain traction leading up to the elections.

DA MPL Yusuf Cassim said the party believed the action called for in the motion passed before the provincial legislature on Wednesday would bolster efforts against rampant violent crime in the northern areas.

“Since 2021, more than 88% of all gang-related violence in the Bay occurred in the northern areas.

“Over this period, 361 shooting incidents related to gang violence were reported — 319 of which occurred in the northern areas.

“This resulted in 180 murders, of which 22 were children,” Cassim said.

The urgent motion called on Nqatha to convene a crime and safety summit with police top brass, safety and security directorates, correctional services, the National Prosecuting Authority, neighbourhood watch groups, patrols, community policing forums, councillors and church leaders, among others.

“We also call on Nqatha to request assistance at national level by doubling the number of members allocated to the anti-gang unit, assigning the best detectives from around SA to support local police, deploying the SAPS national intervention unit and special task force in the northern areas, and strengthening crime intelligence, and increasing police visibility,” Cassim said.

He said the deployment of drone technology should also be reconsidered as a crime-fighting tool.