Bheki Cele warns against violence in Gqeberha, promises greater SAPS presence
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Cape Town - Police Minister Bheki Cele will deploy more officers in Gqeberha to quell the violence after shops and taxis were burnt on Wednesday.
Cele, who is visiting Korster in the province on Thursday, said the SAPS would also clamp down on illegal firearms in the area after shots were fired during the confrontation between two groups.
It is alleged an incident involving a taxi driver and a foreign national sparked the violence.
Cele said he would flood the area with the police to look for any illegal activities after receiving information that Durban street in Korster was notorious for illegal activities.
This comes after the National Council of Provinces called for cool heads and urged all parties to work together.
Chairperson of the select committee on trade and industry, economic development, small business development, tourism, employment and labour in the NCOP Mandla Rayi condemned the burning of taxis and businesses in the area.
Rayi said the two groups should work together to find a solution.
Cele said they will act on the violence and would not allow the violation of the laws.
“From the side of the SAPS the law was broken here, the property was destroyed, there was arson, there were cars burnt. I am told there were shops burnt. There were guns, firearms brandished around here, some of them fired. There are few things that the police will have to follow. One, the police will have to find all people who committed crime, arson and the destruction of property.
“Secondly, the police will have to look and find those guns that were fired. We all know the Firearms Act that private citizens of the land are not allowed to move around displaying their firearms, either firing publicly. Those that were fired must be found and they must be taken for ballistic processes and whoever used that will have to explain why you utilised your firearm in public,” said Cele.
“But three, we are told this street, called Durban street, is notorious in many ways, people not behaving. Therefore, we will be flooding the police so that they come and clean this street,” he said.
“But beyond that we will again increase the capacity of the police in the city,” said Cele.