Heavy police presence in Westbury after gangs' court clash

2019-06-05 20:32

The police say they will pull out all the stops to ensure the safety of residents in a tense Westbury, Johannesburg.

This after alleged rival gang members clashed in the corridors of the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

They were at the court to support their respective leaders who are both facing murder charges.

A man, who was allegedly involved in the fight, was apprehended and then released, police spokesperson Captain Xoli Mbele told News24.

"He was taken in for questioning because the police wanted to find out what led to the fight, but we did not get any answers out of him."

Mbele said other alleged gang members were searched after the police received information that they were armed. However, no weapons were found.

He added that the there could be retaliations after the fight and that was why the police were deploying more officers in Westbury.

Heavy police presence in court on Friday

"The police have been monitoring the gangs in Westbury since last year. We are always patrolling the streets gathering information that may lead to the arrest of gangsters involved in crime," Mbele said.

One of the alleged gang members who appeared in court was Leeroy "Finch" Brown. He was applying for bail after being arrested in connection with the murder of Reagan Jacobs in April.

His bail application bid was postponed to Friday.  

To prevent a repeat of Wednesday's clash, there would be heavy police presence when Brown next appeared, said Mbele.

Community against bail

Community leader Shahiem Ismail said the safety of residents was a major concern, although there aren't tensions in the streets of Westbury.

"I have been given assurances by the provincial commissioner's office that additional police officers have been deployed in the area to prevent any flare-ups."

Ismail said residents were hopeful that the police would act immediately if something happens.

"We don't have a say about what happens in court, but the community is against bail being granted," he added.


Read more on:    johannesburg ­  |  courts  |  westbury  |  gangsterism  |  crime
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