“We are declaring war on druglords and gangsters.”
Those were the words of premier Oscar Mabuyane and the province’s top cops during a handover of new anti-gang unit police vehicles in Port Elizabeth.
The unit, though not yet officially launched, has started clampdown operations as part of efforts to combat northern areas gang activity.
Of the 13 vehicles, 10 branded police cars will be used by the anti-gang unit while three are earmarked for the Flying Squad.
All will be used in anti-gang operations.
Mabuyane, with provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga, mayor Mongameli Bobani and mayoral committee safety and security head Queenie Pink, visited the northern areas to talk to stakeholders about gangsterism.
The anti-gang unit deployment came less than a week after police minister Bheki Cele announced the military would be deployed in Cape Town as part of a stabilisation operation in gang-infested areas.
During the visit, the delegation called at Strelitzia Primary and Arcadia Secondary in Bethelsdorp.
Just hours before the delegation’s arrival, eight stolen firearms were recovered from an alleged drug house during a raid.
“The government is taking action and we are asking you to help us get rid of crime and gangsterism,” Mabuyane told pupils.
Asked about possible military deployment, Mabuyane said the current police deployment was sufficient.
“At a later stage we can revise this, but we are confident they [police[ are dealing with the situation,” he said.
Mabuyane appealed to pupils not to traffic drugs or guns for the gangs.
“We are going to tackle gangsterism and we will eradicate it. They will be in