Leila Samodien

Justice Writer

AN ATLANTIS gang structure has been left “shattered” after the Western Cape High Court jailed 16 men for gang-related crimes.

Judge Elize Steyn handed down life sentences to five of the men – Mallick Petersen, Elrico Thompson, Isaac Lotz, Brandon Rhodes and

Moeneeb Pietersen – for murder.

Their co-accused – Rushdien Koeberg, Heinrich van Wyk, Juliano Williams, Jerome Pieterse, Deraco Pieterse, Moegamat Nazeem Davids, Moegamat Waleed Davids, Aloysius Gaslin, Roedolf Cloete, Wayne Valentine and Leandro Johannes – were given sentences ranging from an effective three years in prison up to 28 years.

The collective convictions within the group of accused included incidents of murder, attempted murder, assault, attempted drug dealing, contraventions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca) and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

These crimes took place over several years.

Their sentencing came just a couple of days after a separate case in which 28s gang members, including an alleged leader, Saliem John, were convicted in the same court of gang-related crimes.

Speaking after the sentence proceedings on Friday, police gang-buster Major-General Jeremy Vearey said the activities of the Fancy Boys gangsters had impacted on the community and put a “strain” on service delivery to a point that ambulances could not respond to sick people in Dura Flats in Atlantis without a police escort.

There had been plans to open a crèche in the area in about 2005 but this had not happened. Children had had to take detours of 1km or more to and from school to avoid gang incidents.

Vearey said legislation concerning organised crime was beginning to work, with Poca cases against whole gang groups “becoming the norm now”.

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