Minister hits out at gang warfare

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IOL Connie September done Independent Newspapers Human Settlements Minister Connie September visits Cedric Gilbert, whose wife Gwendolene was killed by a stray bullet that went through her bedroom window in Bokmakierie. Picture: Jason Boud

Cape Town - National Human Settlements Minister Connie September visited the family of Gwendolene Gilbert on Monday to express concern over gang violence in Athlone.

Gilbert, 88, was fatally wounded by a stray bullet that went through her bedroom window in Bokmakierie on Friday.

Athlone forms part of September’s constituency.

She said she was concerned about the prevalence of violent incidents in the area as a result of gang warfare and the impact this had on innocent and elderly individuals like Gilbert.

“We are angered by the way our elderly people leave (die) in such a manner. Our elderly are supposed to have peace in this country and I want to bring this message to the country that the perpetrators must be found,” she said.

An initiative to eradicate crime in the area was the formation of “street committees”, so that residents could get involved in discussions to make their area safer, September said.

“The communication (in these committees) will ensure that community members will take care of each other and root out violence. Support must also be given to community leaders to eradicate violence.”

She said the community was being held to ransom.


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