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Elsies residents beg for protection

Cape Town - Terrorised Elsies River residents have asked Safety MEC Dan Plato for police protection after two people were shot dead over the weekend.

On Saturday night, a man was shot in his Clarke’s Estate home, and on Sunday at about noon a man in his early twenties was shot while walking home with friends.

Plato said he has been inundated with calls from residents wanting to know what measures would be put in place to stop the gang violence. He confirmed that rival gangs had been fighting over drug turf in the area.

Plato said residents claimed members of the 28s and the 26s gangs had been at loggerheads while internally members of the 26 gangs had also been fighting amongst each other.

“What is evident from reports is that youngsters are running around with guns. We are receiving more and more of these reports about young children with guns. What we need to know now is where these children are getting these guns from,” Plato said.

A Clarke’s Estate community leader, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said the weekend shootings had their roots in a hit that happened a few months ago, because of infighting among 26s members.

“Four close friends were dead, and now the remaining friends are taking revenge,” she said.

“Residents are definitely afraid it’s going to get worse,” she said.

“We’re afraid innocent bystanders will get shot and killed, and we’re afraid for our young children on their way to school.”

She said residents had appealed to Plato and their ward councillor for police protection this week.

“Gang leaders don’t care about innocent people in the area,” she said.

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