'We will be like Holy Spirit' - EC police boss on increased police visibility in northern areas

EC premier Oscar Mabuyane speaking at Strelitzia Primary School, one of several stops along his visit in Port Elizbaeth's northern areas
EC premier Oscar Mabuyane speaking at Strelitzia Primary School, one of several stops along his visit in Port Elizbaeth's northern areas
Image: Naziziphiwo Buso

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has vowed to return to Port Elizabeth’s northern areas once a month to check how police are working.

Mabuyane was speaking at Strelitzia Primary School in Bethelsdorp on Tuesday, one of several stops as part of efforts to engage with communities affected by gang violence.

Announcing that 13 police vehicles would be handed over to bolster the fight against gang violence, Mabuyane said they would also be installing cameras that would mean everybody was under “microscopic view”.

“We are declaring war on drugs and we don’t want our kids to engage with drugs. The time has arrived and we are dealing with this matter,” he said.

“We appreciate the work police are doing, but police cannot work alone to stop crime. We need our community to work together with the police.”

Parents at Strelitzia shut down the school last week as they protested for the safety of pupils after several shootings near the school grounds.

Among their concerns is the fact that the school has inadequate fencing, creating an opportunity for rival gangs to use the school to escape.

Babalwa Lobishe, chairperson of the Safety and Liaison Committee in the Eastern Cape, said the fencing issue would be addressed.

“The fencing of the school will arrive. We have written to education (MEC Fundile Gade) and he has said that next week the fencing will arrive,” Lobishe said.

Eastern Cape police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga, said the vehicles would allow for police to be more visible.

“We will be like the Holy Spirit,” Ntshinga said.

“We are here to support you, we are here to protect you. We also need you to help us. This is not only for two months. We will be here until you say that we can take care of ourselves.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Mabuyane visited Arcadia Secondary School.

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