Tempers flare at march

2015-09-08 06:00
A group of residents stand outside a home that was identified where drug dealing and drug use is known for. Residents participated in a march in the area to curb crime relating to gang violence and drug dealing. 

Chevon Booysen

A group of residents stand outside a home that was identified where drug dealing and drug use is known for. Residents participated in a march in the area to curb crime relating to gang violence and drug dealing. PHOTOS: Chevon Booysen

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Parkwood residents will not rest until they have peace in their community again.

This was the message that was given to drug dealers and gang bosses in the area as residents took to the streets on Friday evening. The walkabout, which was supported by local police and neighbourhood watches, kicked off at 19:00 but was met with confrontation and flaring tempers before leaving the starting point in Parkwood Avenue.

A member of the neighbourhood watch, Eleanor Abrahams, was threatened by a woman, whose husband is an alleged drug dealer, on her way to attend the march.

“The woman came out of her home and started shouting at me, asking me if I have a problem with her or her husband and I said that I did not have a problem with them. She told me that her husband has done nothing to me and we should leave them alone,” she explains.

Abrahams says the woman then went on to say that they would “plant drugs in her home”.

“She told me they would plant drugs at my house and then call the police themselves and send them to my house. This has traumatised me but I won’t let that deter me,” she says.

Despite the threats, Abrahams participated in the march.

Voice of Parkwood chairperson Paul Phillips says the walkabout was initiated after rumours of gang war was spreading.

“This is a follow-up to the march we had on Women’s Day where we marched against gangsterism and drugs in our community. We had a quiet time after the march but during the week shots were fired in opposing gang turfs. We received a message that a gang war was anticipated. This is our message to these gangsters that we will not stand for it,” he says.

Phillips says gangs were warned to cease all criminal activities.
Added to this, he says a list of addresses was handed to the department of safety and security so that eviction notices can be issued to the homeowners.

Ward councillor Melanie Arendse says she was happy with the response to the walkabout.

“I am very proud of the community for taking a stand and being proactive in the fight against crime. The residents did not wait for more gunshots to ring out in the community, they took a stand,” Arendse says.

She adds that the area was quiet since the march that was held on Women’s Day in August.

“We heard rumours that there will be a gang fight in the area again over the (past) weekend. We have identified a few houses in the area where drug dealing is taking place as well as where gangsters live, because these two issues go hand in hand.

“We are going to tell them to stop with their activity or they need to leave the community. They have to be put to shame and we as a community need to take away their power,” Arendse says.

She adds that although threats were made “we need top keep doing what we’re doing”.
“It can be expected that they would retaliate in that way. But just for the fact that they feel the need to retaliate tells us that we hit a nerve because they now feel threatened as well.
“We just need to remain headstrong for this cause,” she says.
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