Mbalula visits Elsies River after shooting

DEALING WITH TERROR: Police Minister Fikile Mbalula meets residents in gang-plagued Elsies River

Jacqueline Claasen cannot mourn the death of her only son, David. She has to remain strong for her husband‚ Jacobus‚ who is fighting for his life in hospital.

The father and son were among 13 people who were shot in a drive-by shooting in Elsies River in Cape Town on Monday. Four of the men died. “I thought my husband would not survive because he was shot five times‚” Claasen said after Police Minister Fikile Mbalula left her home with a promise – to free her neighbourhood from the shackles of gangsterism.

Mbalula said the violence in Cape Town could warrant a state of emergency being declared.

The killings prompted a visit from Mbalula who did not hold back his outrage especially after residents had told him gangsters were holding them ransom.

“We are going to take extraordinary measures‚” he promised.

“If you say we are dealing with terror and people are living in fear‚ then we must react.

“We need to look at all our operations. We cannot allow gangsters to take over the lives of people‚” Mbalula said.

City of Cape Town councillor Franchesca Walker told the minister she was too afraid to do her work in her ward.

“A couple of months ago‚ my office was petrol bombed, so I’m not even stationed in my area.

“You have a clinic‚ which is also closed because of the shootings that are happening in front of the clinic‚” she said.

Walker said soon‚ the library‚ which assists youngsters in after school programmes‚ would also close because of the shootings.

“What is going to happen to our youth‚ to our children?” an emotional Walker asked.

Community Policing Forum deputy chairman Imraahn Mukaddam described the gangsters as terrorists running a parallel state in the area.

There were no-go zones in Elsies River run by gangsters and it was so bad that youths were openly being trained to be gangsters or drug runners, he said.

“They are organised as a military outfit. They have their own rankings‚” he said. – TMG Digital/ TimesLIVE

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