Galeshewe Gang Violence – MEC must act swiftly to stem rising gang activity

Harold McGluwa, ID MPL

DA Northern Cape – Provincial Chairperson Spokesperson on Transport, Safety & Liaison

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be submitting parliamentary questions to the MEC of Transport, Safety & Liaison, Mac Jack, to ascertain whether his department has a policy and a plan-of-action to tackle rising incidents of gang activity in the Northern Cape.

This comes after media reports detail how residents of Galeshewe in Kimberley are falling prey to increasing spates of house-breakings and gangs which are terrorizing them in their communities and homes.

The DA is of the view that this situation requires a swift and coordinated response from the Transport, Safety & Liaison department in partnership with the South African Police Services (SAPS). It would appear community safety structures mandated by law, such as the Community Policing Forum, are not doing enough to help residents in the area.

It is concerning that desperate residents have seemingly begun to take the law into their own hands. Residents have resorted to acts of mob justice in a bid to protect themselves and their property. According to reports residents threw stones at the homes of suspected gang members last weekend.

The DA had pointed out to the department during their presentation of their Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Budget for the 2013/14 financial year that they did not adequately speak to how such issues of mob justice and gangsterism would be tackled. The Department could not explain why its Monitoring & Evaluation sub-programme’s is more beneficial for the SAPS internal processes, and not for the actual residents, who are often recipients of poor SAPS service delivery.

Urgent leadership and action is now required to diffuse what potentially may become an explosive situation. MEC Jack must act swiftly, in conjunction with SAPS, to stop rising gang activity and keep the people of Galeshewe, and the province at large, safe.