File picture: Kevork Djansezian/AFP ImageForum

PORT ELIZABETH - Human Rights Commissioner Chris Nissan is expected to visit Port Elizabeth’s northern areas after a scourge of violence and killings in the area in recent months.

The visit will run over Thursday and Friday.

According to MPL Christian Martin, in the last seven months, more than 80 people have been killed due to gang activity. 

“Houses are violently invaded, compromising people’s privacy, dignity and instilling a fear that has severe traumatic post effects and scars. 

"How does one go on living after experiencing a horrific ordeal where you have your house invaded at three in the morning, being threatened with a firearm and robbed of all your valuables and left to deal with the after effects. Women are raped and children viciously killed and it is my opinion that these acts are not only ordinary criminal activity but serious violations of people’s basic human rights,” said Martin. 

Over the years, the northern areas of Nelson Mandela Bay has become susceptible to crime, ranging from drugs, break-ins and murder. 

Martin said a press conference was scheduled for Friday at the Department of Education District Offices. 

Martin said the commissioner was expected to tackle matters relating to violence against innocent citizens and how their human rights are being violated.

He said Nissan’s visit was welcomed as the the South African Human Rights Commission had a great role to play in redressing atrocities. 

“It is also my opinion that the SAHRC should play pivotal role in the run-up of a case and make recommendations to the judiciary to ensure appropriate punitive measures for perpetrators in relation to the human rights violations. “

The visit is expected to focus primarily on violation of human rights of innocent citizens by gangs and violation of children’s rights in terms of principals withholding learners' progress reports, Martin said.

Earlier this week, Minister of Police Bheki Cele was in Port Elizabeth for the second time to engage with community members following a scourge of gang-related violence and killings in the city's northern areas.  

Cele announced that a new police station would be built in Booysens Park within the next 10 months and that 42 police officers would be deployed to deal with ongoing gang violence in Nelson Mandela Bay's northern areas which include Gelvandale, Helenvale, Booysens Park and Bethelsdorp. 

Cele said an additional 30 officers would be added to the team to specifically deal with gang-related incidents in the Metro and they will form part of the existing task team which will later be developed into a permanent anti-gang unit. 

African News Agency (ANA)