High rate of Free State gangs reduced



The Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster in the Free State said gangsterism has been dramatically reduced in the province.

According to provincial MEC of Department of Roads, Police and Transport, Butana Komphela, they have managed to curb the high rate of gangs in the Western Free State, by holding discussions with different gang members, involving local churches and parents. He was speaking at the justice crime prevention and security cluster’s media briefing in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

Komphela added that there were forty-seven gangs in Odendaalsrus and police managed to reduce the number to four gangs. He said that in Bothaville there twenty-four gangs and now there are only three remaining gangs. Komphela explained that they have been visiting various towns to encourage gang members to change their lifestyles.

“You cannot have a conclusive number of the gangs because recruitment of the gangs is in daily basis and the resignation of the gangs is in daily basis. The danger of leaving gangs is that you have to know that you are going to face some consequences when you leave a certain gang. I think in Virginia they were saying the number of gangs that are there are not more than twenty and the town is infested with deadly gangs which belong to Portuguese and Makaota,” he said.

Komphela said that most gangs have influence that comes from the twenty-seven and twenty-six gangs originating from prison. He further explained that they can never have a static number of gang members but only the number of gang bands.