Angus Mckenzie Photo: Facebook
The controversial People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) are looking to enter Bonteheuwel to stop gang violence, even though their involvement has not been welcomed by all and instead been marred by politicking.

This after Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie pledged his support to the group and already met the Pagad leadership.

#TotalShutdown leader Henrietta Abrahams, however, slammed McKenzie, saying he was pushing the DA’s election agenda and that they do not welcome Pagad.

Police Minister Bheki Cele recently said an Anti-Gang Unit and the Bambanani programme will be in operation in Bonteheuwel, while Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police said it would hold a special meeting on an anti-gang strategy.

Abrahams said McKenzie's being sceptical of Cele’s efforts, politicising crime prevention and now calling on Pagad was a desperate attempt to drive a political narrative around policing and crime for the DA’s election campaign.

“We will not allow politicians to play Russian roulette with our lives. Our cause is the flavour of the month. I don’t want Pagad in the area,” Abrahams said.

Pagad recently hosted a meeting with some residents to discuss bringing an end to gang violence, leader Haroon Orrie said.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie has pledged his support to the group and already met the Pagad leadership. Video: Francesca Villette

This came weeks after Mckenzie and Mayco member for safety JP Smith had been chased out of a meeting arranged by Bonteheuwel residents and Cele following a #TotalShutdown protest, during which residents from a number of suburbs on the Cape Flats took to the streets in protest against gangsterism, crime and the police’s inefficiency.

Residents of Bellville, Bishop Lavis, Kensington and Ottery said they were also protesting issues including poverty, unprecedented levels of unemployment, violence and living in overcrowded communities due to lack of housing.

Orrie said they are engaging with various organisations in Bonteheuwel, and hoped to unite people.

Violence in communities could be “stopped with immediate effect”, Orrie said, but residents were split on the issue.

“Councillor McKenzie has given us his support and he welcomes Pagad to be part of the process,” Orrie said.

McKenzie said should any marches or demonstrations go ahead under Pagad’s banner, it will be done in “accordance with the law”.

McKenzie also said he was asked by some residents to meet with Pagad. “I welcome any organisation willing to work to stop gang-related activities.”