Hanover Park residents have lashed out at gangsters taking the community hostage, amid a surge in gang shootings over the past two weeks. At the launch of a new anti-crime campaign on Thursday at the Hanover Park Civic Center, residents vowed to reclaim their streets. Over the past two weeks, 13 people have been laid to rest – the motives yet to be known.
Chairperson of the Hanover Park Community Police Forum, Anthony Daniels said that after late soccer player Senzo Meyiwa was shot and killed; his case was constantly in the media. He said that while SAPS offered a satellite station near Meyiwa’s house, very little has been done to assist the people of Hanover Park, who face gang shooting on a daily basis.
“We feel ignored and left out… SAFA launched a task team compromising of big profile individuals,” he said.
“We feel government is not playing their part and we are not getting any support.. the issues are serious.”
Daniels heartfelt message came after two innocent victims, Sam and John Serfontein were killed last week.
“We are peace loving people and we condemn the violence. We do not condone violence, especially the kind of violence we are exposed to. The swift action in the Senzo case can only be desired by people in Hanover Park,” Daniels said.
Provincial Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato was present with other stakeholders, to listen to the burdened community of Hanover Park. VOC News asked Plato why there were 20 police vehicles at the Al Aqsa march that took place yesterday, but yet residents of Hanover Park are told the police do not have enough resources.
Plato’s reply was that he discussed the issues with the police and the resources not applied where most needed.
“When you deal with police resources there needs to be a fair spread on an issue to issue basis. They need to show good faith where there’s more resources needed in gangster stricken areas.”
He said he was supportive of the community and it was important for government to address the issues. The partnership of the government, police and community is imperative and all entities need to work together.
“We can only do that if we engage,” he said.
The campaign will start off with a candlelight prayer vigil at Etosha Court, Hanover Park on Friday 7 November. The issue of gang and drug related crime will also be addressed at the funeral Service of Sam and John Serfontein on Saturday, which will be followed by a mass demonstration on Saturday and Sunday. A number of other peace initiatives will also be rolled out.
“The death of Sam and John Serfontein should act as a constant reminder of to us that if we fail to act, we condone their deaths and that of many others. Enough is Enough!” urged Daniels. VOC (Nishta Sookdiyal)