Plato in gangland to explain law

2016-03-22 06:00
Dan Plato, Western Cape minister for community safety, visited Heideveld and Manenberg last week to shed more light on the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Dan Plato, Western Cape minister for community safety, visited Heideveld and Manenberg last week to shed more light on the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

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Dan Plato, provincial minister of community safety, visited Heideveld and Manenberg last week to inform residents of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca).

The Act is intended to empower communities to help police in isolating and removing gangsters from society and imprison drug­lords.

According to Lieutenant Ian Bennett, Manenberg police’s spokesperson, Plato’s message was clear: community members who continue to violate laws by dealing in drugs and participating in other illegal activities from inside municipal flats will be dealt with in the harshest possible manner and be evicted from these premises.

“For too long our communities have complained about the ‘known gangsters’ and the ‘alleged druglords’ who intimidate everyone, operate as if they are above the law and perpetuate the cycle of drugs, guns and gangs that wreak havoc in our communities,” said Plato.

The Act takes a combative stance against organised crime, money laundering, criminal gang activities and racketeering. The Act is not only intended to criminalise gang activity, but also criminalises the failure of community members to report crime they have witnessed.

“We aim to take a firm stand, backed by legislation, to help realise safer communities,” added Plato.

The department of community safety has collaborated with the police, the departments of education and social development as well as various community police forums and neighbourhood watches.

Plato’s department will continue to roll out similar programmes throughout Cape Town over the next two months.

“We want each community member to have confidence that when information is reported to the police, it will be investigated and action will be taken. I will continue to provide the police with all the names, allegations of illegal activity and information on unlawful conduct I receive from community members,” said Plato.

Meanwhile, Major-General Vincent Beaton encouraged the youth to take a stand against gangs and to study.

“Education is the gateway to uproot gangs and end poverty,” he said.

He added that the youth needed to be inspired in the communities they lived and that parents needed to take greater responsibility and ensure their children strove to become the great people they ought to be.

He said parents needed to know where their children were and with whom they spending time.

It is through little parental participation that the youth joined gangs, he claimed.

Beaton also expressed his concern about police officers who were not delivering quality and efficient services to the community. He encouraged community members to report a lack of service in their area so that he could deal with it.

Kadar Jacobs, chairperson of the Manenberg community police forum (CPF), reiterated the importance or working with the police. He said the attacks on police members when executing their duties would not be tolerated.

“The CPF will not stand for this type of action. There needs to be a closer working relationship with police in order to root out criminals and their activity.”

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