Police in new moves to curb gangs as gunmen strike again

Gareth Wilson

THE spike in gang violence in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas has prompted police to put measures in place to counter further warfare.

This comes after two more gangrelated shootings on Tuesday night. These took total gang attacks between Monday and Tuesday night to four. Gelvandale station commander Brigadier Lawrence Soekoe said that additional manpower and other resources had been put in place to counter these attacks.

One of the latest gang shootings occurred at about 9.50pm on Tuesday when a man was shot at in Leith Street, Gelvandale, while walking to the shops.

“A man approached him and started shooting. About five shots were fired in total,” Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said.

“The victim managed to flee and escape unharmed.”

About 30 minutes later, a man was shot in Billet Street, Gelvandale, while parking in his driveway.

“As he got out of his vehicle, a known gangster approached him and started shooting. About seven shots were fired and the victim managed to run behind the house and hide in some bushes.

“The shooter fled the scene before the police arrived. The man was shot in the right hand.”

Labans said instructions had been given not to release the names of the gangs involved for fear this would spark more violence.

“We are investigating all possibilities. Detectives are attempting to link these cases together and at this stage we just do not know if they are connected,” Labans said.

On Monday night, Cariston van Ross, 37, was killed in Gail Road in Helenvale – only a few hundred metres from the police station.

Van Ross was sitting inside a house with four friends when a lone gunman wearing a balaclava stormed inside. Five shots struck Van Ross, killing him at the scene,

An hour before that, suspected gangster Godfrey Francis, 48, was killed while driving in Bell Road, Gelvandale. Francis was driving a bakkie carrying Allistair “Ellie” Witbooi, the alleged leader of the Upstand Dog gang in Gelvandale.

The vehicle was hit 13 times.

Witbooi escaped unharmed.

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