Urgent intervention needed to end gang violence - Leonsdale Peace Initiative

Residents took to the streets of the Elsies River community over the weekend to pray for peace.

FILE: Leonsdale community members at a memorial service for victims of a shooting incident. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The Leonsdale Peace Initiative said that rival gangs were causing havoc.

Residents took to the streets of the Elsies River community over the weekend to pray for peace. They said that urgent intervention was needed to put an end to gang violence.

The Leonsdale Peace Initiative's Valentino Stander said that while residents had a relatively good relationship with the SAPS, there was a great need for more police visibility.

He said that for some reason, gang violence spiraled out of control after the hard lockdown ended, with a number of murders reported since then.

“There's been shooting every other day, and it's been there, and you can't move. You can't play outside, you can't go to the shops,” Stander said.

Stander said in the latest incident last Monday, 37-year-old Helesene Solomons was shot dead just meters from her home while walking to a shop to buy food for her children.

“For us as a community that was too much, because she's a mother's, a woman, and we are trying to curb this thing of gender-based violence,” he said.

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