By Anita Dangazele
After what can only be described as a bloody week in Gqeberha, angry community members allegedly turned on a police official who was chasing after a suspected criminal and assaulted him.
The cop, who was off duty at the time, was responding to a shooting incident with his colleague when he was shot and severely assaulted by community members.
The incident happened in the northern part of Bethelsdorp, in an area notorious for gang violence.
Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the two officers saw a man running from the scene with a gun in his hand and began chasing him.
Naidu said the suspect tossed the gun away during the chase.
She said one of the officers remained behind to find the gun while the other continued to chase the suspect.
“In a surprising twist, the community suddenly became unruly and violent towards the police official,” she said.
“The police officer chasing the suspect was later found in a yard in Esterhuizen Street, with a gunshot to his hand, and was severely assaulted.”
She said the officer is currently recovering in hospital, and that a case of attempted murder is being investigated. An enquiry into the recovered firearm was opened.
Just last week, eight people were shot and killed in separate incidents around Nelson Mandela Bay, including in the notorious northern area.
On Thursday NMBM mayor, Gary Van Niekerk, introduced a ten-point plan aimed at curbing the violence encroaching on Nelson Mandela, but the plan was criticised and labelled a “pipe dream” by many opposition parties.
Van Niekerk said a collective effort by all sectors of society will be needed to make the plan work.
He said the Rapid Response on Crime initiative meant the Nelson Mandela Bay safety and security directorate, the South African Police Services, private security forces, community policing forums, civil society and other stakeholders all needed to become involved.
“We established the plan two months ago and are currently working on getting it to a level of operational functionality that will increase our safety and security footprint across all sixty municipal wards,” he said.
A South African Cities Network report has ranked Nelson Mandela as the most violent city in South Africa, with 80 murders per 100,000 people.
Pictured above: Police van.
Image source: Supplied