Additional police resources are essential to stop the growing gang culture in Hout Bay, SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) spokesperson Mzi Nyaki said on Tuesday.
Extra police resources have been deployed to Imizamo Yethu since Tuesday, after seven people were arrested for public violence on Monday night.
It is understood a group of men raided a tavern and removed all the liquor from the establishment on Monday.
They, with their friends and family, were allegedly later seen drinking the stolen booze on the side of a nearby road, Nyaki said.
The unrest came hours after Sanco led residents through the streets in an anti-crime march.
Additional manpower is essential in the crime-ravaged community, Nyaki pointed out.
“There are two gangs holding this community hostage,” he said.
“While they fight over drug turf and power, people are living in fear. People are getting stabbed to death every weekend.”
Calling the shots
These gangs are made up mostly of teenagers, Nyaki told News24.
“But they are run by older and experienced gangsters who call the shots. They use these youngsters because they are arrested today and released tomorrow into their parents’ care because they are minors.”
Poverty and unemployment is the main reason these youngsters join these groupings, he believes.
“There are no jobs or opportunities here for our youth. The only activity here is football.”
Community Police Subforum chairperson Bonisile Nzuzo said the gangs are responsible for a spate of robberies, which has led residents to stay indoors and not venture further than their doorsteps.
“The fact that this area is badly lit with many escape routes doesn’t make things any better. And some of them are so brazen, they don’t even wait for it to get dark to strike.”
Acting provincial police commissioner Thembisile Patekile’s commitment that five vacant posts at the local police station will be filled soon has been welcomed by Hout Bay Civic Association secretary Roscoe Jacobs.
“As a community we call that these vacancies be filled urgently. We welcome this decision and believe it is a victory in our war against crime,” he said.
Nzuzo, however, believes active citizenship is more important.
“People need to get more involved. We cannot allow gangs to hold us hostage. Law-abiding citizens by far outnumber the criminal elements.
“It’s time to take a stand.” News24