Armed community members marched through crime ridden Gelvandale in Port Elizabeth on Sunday 26 May 2019, as they are tired of gangsters terrorizing the suburb.
On a facebook page, Gelvan Patrols, the following messages was posted:
“The situation in our Northern Areas is beyond out of control. People are losing their lives on a daily basis.
Just this past week alone 10 people have died at the hands of gangsters. Innocent people included.
Gangsters are living without fear of the law. They put innocent people’s lives in danger. Crime is on the increase. Gangsterism is the order of the day.”
“The South African Police has noted with concern a video clip doing the rounds depicting civilians walking in the streets of Gelvandale with loud hailers and firearms calling out to gangs,” said Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu in response to the incident.
“The police have since these postings investigated the authenticity of the clip and have opened a case in terms of the Gatherings Act.
It is alleged that on Sunday, 26 May 2019 at about 14:00, a convoy of civilians proceeded through the streets of Gelvandale brandishing firearms. The convoy was stopped by police as they entered Ext 31 in Bethelsdorp. They were dispersed by police,” said Naidu.
“Police are warning community members that they are not above the law and such acts is tantamount to intimidation and can have tragic results.
Any marches must be done within the ambit of the law. Acts such as this is seen as counteracting our efforts of constructive and meaningful engagements with community leaders and religious fraternities.
The SAPS will not allow a state of lawlessness while stamping the authority of the State,” concluded Naidu.