President Ramaphosa inspecting the new Gang Unit during a parade. The President and Minister Cele together with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille did a walkabout in Hanover Park greeting residents during the launch the Anti-Gang Unit. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA

CAPE TOWN - Gang activity was synonymous with all illegal and illicit enterprises in South Africa and not just in drug trade, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday.

“Gang activity is synonymous with all the illegal and illicit enterprises and not just involved in the drug trade but also involved in human trafficking and smuggling and a whole lot of other illegal and illicit activities,” he said.

Ramaphosa and Police Minister Bheki Cele formally launched the police's anti-gang unit (AGU) in Hanover Park, Cape Town. The unit has been in operation since October, deployed in the Nyanga, Bonteheuwel and Bishop Lavis clusters in the Western Cape.

He said the AGU was launched in an effort to disorganise and disable the criminal economy linked to gangsterism, including drug and firearm supply lines in Hanover Park and other surrounding areas which have been reportedly affected by gang activities.

However, the AGU was a national competency which will also be rolled out to Gauteng and the Eastern Cape Province and wherever the need exists.

“Today we say the streets of Hanover park no longer belong to gangsters, they belong to the people of Hanover Park. We declare today to the gangsters that we are not afraid of you. Infect, we are coming after you. We are going to pursue you, we are going to chase you down, we are going to find you in every little corner where you are hiding and we are going to take our lives back,” said Ramaphosa during his keynote address.

“Our police are coming after you. The men and women in blue are going to be coming for you, they will arrest you and put you where you belong which is behind bars.”

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African News Agency (ANA)