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Gangsterism glorified in Port Elizabeth: SAHRC

4 February 2021

The SAHRC found an entrenched gang culture in the area

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is urging the community to work with the police to combat the high crime rate in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas where gang-related violence and gender-based crimes are rife.
Human Rights Commissioner, Chris Nissen, wrapped up a two-day visit to the area where he held numerous meetings with different stakeholders including members of the community.

The lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has done nothing to ease the level of crime and violence the people of the northern areas endure. Rival gangs exchange gun fire on a daily basis while women and children suffer under spiralling gender-based crimes.

The SAHRC found an entrenched gang culture in the area. Nissen says gangsterism is glorified in the area.

“It starts not only with the socio-economic problems, it starts at home. It starts with the parents, it starts with the community not to glorify gangsters, because if the police go there and arrest these people, these community members are the first to pelt them with stones and some of them would say you are not going to touch our gangsters. What nonsense is that? ”

Nissen says crime intelligence should step up to combat gangsterism.

Helenvale is a known gang area where drug abuse and violence flourish. Drug Lords have turned what used to be family homes into drug dens. The community lives in fear and knows the repercussions of reporting criminal activity.

Rena Potgieter has been living there for nearly 40-years, and has been targeted for speaking up.

“Sunday morning I was assaulted by a gangster because I phoned the police. This is what’s happening in Helenvale. If you phone the police you are the target. My house was petrol bombed twice. I don’t care about it. I live my life. I am here for the people of Helenvale.”

Nissen, accompanied by MPL Cedric Frolic and community members, visited some of the crime scenes.

The latest victim is 14-year-old Patronicia Jordaan, whose body was found with multiple stab wounds. Her body was found in a bushy area between Gelvandale and Algoa Park. She was allegedly gang raped. Eight men with gang affiliations are in custody in connection with the crime.
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Source: SABC

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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