A delegation of Helenvale church leaders calling for a special Gangster Court in Port Elizabeth were bitterly disappointed yesterday when representatives of the Justice Department, Correctional Services and SA Police Services, all failed to turn up for a scheduled meeting, said delegation spokesman, Nico du Plessis.
Du Plessis, who is the councillor for Helenvale, said the 12-member delegation had waited for an hour and a half at the Safety and Liaison Office at the Main Post Office, which was the venue of the meeting which had been arranged at their request by the Government Communication Services. “It made us feel that they are not at all serious about the crime situation in Helenvale,” he said.
The Helenvale group requested the meeting in order to discuss an integrated approach to dealing with ongoing gang-related crime and shootings in the Port Elizabeth Northern Areas suburb. Meanwhile, he said there had been another shooting incident in the area today. He said the group would pursue their Gangster Court proposal by setting up meetings with individual departments.
He said Helenvale church and community leaders were holding a community meeting at the Helenvale Resource Centre on Monday (August 1) to plan a united response to the crime in the area. The meeting is a follow-up to a meeting on July 18, which was attended by 30 of the 55 churches in the area. He said the crime crisis had at least brought church leaders together.