By Lulutho Skeyi
Police ministry Police Minister General Bheki Cele, Deputy minister of Police Cassel Mathale, Deputy National Commissioner responsible for policing, Lieutenant General Fannie Masemola and senior management of the South African Police Service visited Gqeberha Thursday 14 October following a violent brawl caused by a road rage incident.
Businessmen and residents came out to meet the Minister of Police so that they could air their concerns regarding the violence that occurred Wednesday afternoon in Korsten.
“The police will increase in their capacity,” said minister Cele assuringly.
Police Minister General Bheki Cele says the Eastern Cape police will continue to use all available resources distributed to them, to detect and call to account all fire-raisers responsible for the malicious destruction of property that took place in Gqeberha on Wednesday.
Following a full police briefing on the incident, the Police executives met with leaders of the concerned groupings involved in the violence and destruction. While the same details of how the incident spread varied, all parties agreed to stimulate communication to ensure the tensions between the taxi industry and the local business people, who are mostly Somali nationals, does not spiral further.
Minister Cele has commended the efforts by both groups to find a harmonious resolution, but he has warned that arson is a very serious offence that will not go unpunished.
“While you negotiate with each other, the police won’t negotiate crime, they have a constitutional mandate to uphold which is to safe gaurd citizens and their property, this is why police are exploring all avenues to find and bring to account those who burnt down a taxi, a vending stall or a shop,” added minister Cele.
“We have gun laws in this country and we abide by them, the law is clear that you cannot carry and brandish a firearm in public – we are not at war- if you do so, you are breaking the law. I’m encouraged that police continue to seek the licences of these weapons and subject them to ballistic testing to see if they have been used in the commission of any crime,” concluded Cele.
The Police Ministry has welcomed the steps taken by the SAPS to locate more officers to the area to ensure security. The law won’t spare those who committed crime during the Korsten violence in Gqeberha.