CPF plans fall of gangs

2016-02-16 06:00

A successful conviction has resulted in an eight-year prison sentence for a 23-year-old man from Lotus River.

The gun-wielding gangster was sentenced last Tuesday after he was initially arrested in May last year.

Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith, Grassy Park police spokesperson, says Sergeant Adiel Noordien, a detective of the serious and violent crimes team, completed his investigation against Mara­waan Daniels at the end of January.

Grassy Park police followed a tip-off in May last year that Daniels was walking with a firearm in the street in Lotus River.

“Upon searching the suspect a black Beretta with one magazine with 10 rounds was found,” Kleinsmith says.

The serial number of the firearm had been filed off.

Daniels was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm, ammunition and a prohibited firearm and providing a false name and surname to the police, Kleinsmith says.

He has now been found guilty on these charges.

Police station commander Colonel Shawn van Wyk says police will continue clamping down on crime and criminals. He adds that strengthening the partnership between the community and the police is high on the agenda in the fight against crime and bringing criminals to book.

Van Wyk has thanked the officers under his command for arresting Daniels and Noordien specifically for his “brilliant” investigation.

Plan for fall

In the meantime, the Grassy Park Community Police Forum (CPF) has embarked on a new campaign. It has asked residents, community organisations and youth development agencies to join the campaign #GangsterismShallFall.

Bam says the CPF is encouraged by the call #GangsterismMustFall and as a pledge not to stop working for a better and safer community, adapted the call to express its determination. The CPF will call its campaign #GangsterismShallFall.

CPF spokesperson Philip Bam says the campaign is, however, still in an early stage of planning.

“The Grassy Park CPF is planning a campaign against gangsterism and wishes to invite our community to get involved at this early stage. We call upon parents, faith leaders, school leadership, governing bodies, youth development agencies and workers in the greater Grassy Park area to join the CPF in a planning session,” Bam says.

The planning session will be held at Fairview Primary School in First Avenue, Grassy Park on Tuesday 23 February at 19:30.

Bam further says the area has been “reeling under the onslaught of gangsterism, which seems to have taken centre stage in the lives of many young people and children of schoolgoing age”.

“The challenge of drug abuse and the unbridled drug trade in the area, supported by gangsterism, is cause for great concern. The recent death of Jayden Smith in Parkwood Estate at the hands of reckless gangsters, is a clarion call for the community to rise up and deal firmly with the scourge of gangsterism and drugs. Children have been injured and killed in gang crossfire, which must stop,” Bam urges.

“We say that if 13 people die in the space of 30 days from 15 November to 15 December last year in our area as a result of shootings and gang rivalry (and more after that) and millions of rands worth of drugs are being found, then there is a real problem to be addressed,” he says.

Community buy-in

Bam says the campaign will be driven by the CPF and it will involve the police as much as it can. “What we want is more law enforcement. We want to get the minds of our community right by enforcing mind power instead of fire power. It will be an extensive programme and that is why we are involving the community from the get go so that we can get their buy-in. It is time right now to unite,” Bam says.

Other aspects of the plan is to engage with agencies involved in youth development as well as to encourage the law enforcement agencies to do their jobs better.

“We say if we can break the back of gangsterism, then the battle against drug abuse would be so much easier to deal with. The converse is also true: if the drug trade is sufficiently frustrated, then the currency for gangsterism falls away,” Bam says.

 Anyone with information on crime can call the police on 021 700 3940 or Crime Stop on 0860 010 111. All information will be treated as highly confidential.

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