Safety MEC Dan Plato speaking at a memorial service in Elsies River.
Safety MEC Dan Plato speaking at a memorial service in Elsies River.

Speaking at the memorial service in honour of the four people killed in a gang-related shooting last week, Plato requested parents to work with the South African Police Service in ensuring that communities are freed of criminal activity.

“My plea is that the community stands together. SAPS will have to do what they have to do — this is to make arrests," he said.

"It is high time that police get to the high-flyers. They need to get to the guys giving the orders. The guys running on the ground don’t give the orders; it’s coming from somewhere else.”

He added: "Gangsters, we will get you. I want to say to those gang bosses that I'm waiting for your messages. We will never stand back from you, even if you are here now."

Several residents stood in unity with Plato and vowed to increase the fight against gang violence in their suburb and made a desperate appeal to the youth not to engage in gang related activities, following last week's mass shooting in Leonsdale in Elsies River.

Leonsdale resident George Walters says the community is desperate.

“The people are now fed up. I think they are at that stage where they want to take the streets back, from anyone that wants to be in charge of the streets. The community wants to take its place and the church also wants to take its place.”

On Thursday, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and Plato visited the area to talk to the community about the scourge of violence and gangsterism.