Hanover Park residents yesterday blockaded all roads leading in and out of the area in a protest against gang violence. Photo: Tracey Adams / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Fed-up Hanover Park residents say the area has seen the escalation in guns and gang violence despite the Anti Gang Unit (AGU) launched late last year.

Residents took to the streets yesterday to “demand the attention” of police top brass.

“School grounds have become initiation grounds for gangs incorporating our innocent children into their groupings in order to belong or face victimisation. 

"It’s become normal that the area endured in excess of 100 rounds of ammunition being fired in succession without police intervention at random locations around the area,” said Hanover Park Concerned Citizens spokesperson Mansoer Arendse.

“The community was fed up being held hostage by criminals in the area and the lack of response from authorities,” Arendse said.

The AGU was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Hanover Park to tackle gangsterism in certain areas on the Cape Flats.

“There have been continuous shootings and killings in our area, and it seems our cries and pleas are falling on deaf ears.

“We’ve gone to the police station where a memorandum was handed over detailing our concerns. We want action to be taken because we feel we’ve been forgotten here in our community and authorities just don’t care,” said Arendse.

Yesterday’s protest led to the closure of Hanover Park Avenue at Govan Mbeki Road and at Athwood Road traffic was restricted from entering the area.

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said a case of contravention of the Regulation of Gatherings Act 12(1) would be investigated after residents failed to give notice for a gathering.

“Throughout the protest, the community was peaceful and no incidents of violence were reported, except where a woman refused to let a vehicle pass after requests from the Overall Commander. 

"A memorandum of demands was handed over to the station commander of Philippi SAPS, which will be escalated to the next level,” Van Wyk said.

Cape Times