Port Elizabeth: The Cluster Commander for Mount Road, Major General Thembisile Patekile has strongly condemned the attack on police officers in Helenvale, Port Elizabeth today, 3 February 2018. “Anyone who attacks or kills a police officer will face the full might of the law. We will not be deterred by these attacks on our members and we will continue to maintain increased presence in these crime hotspot areas. We will not tolerate any provocation of police officers when they are performing their duties and we will intensify our search for these perpetrators”, said Major General Patekile.
It is alleged that on Saturday afternoon, 3 February 2018 at about 16:00, police members from Gelvandale and the Cluster Crime Combating Task Team (CCCTT) were busy with stop and search operations in Martin Street, Helenvale when they were pelted with stones by a group of people as the police were affecting an arrest for drugs. As the suspect resisted arrest, the group intervened and started throwing stones. One police member sustained an open wound on his forehead while two police vehicles were damaged. Police have opened cases of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to property.
Major General Patekile has implored his officers to remain resolute in the execution of their duties and to take swift and decisive action to protect themselves and members of the public within the remit of the law. He further urged the communities not to support criminal elements but to report them. Information may be reported to the nearest police station or to Crime Stop on 08600 10111 and Crime Line 3 22 11.
Reports from policeman on the scene say that three police vehicles responded to shots fired in Bongo Street, Helenvale.
On arrival in Bongo Street the suspect was seen fleeing into a Bongo Street home. As the police approached to effect an arrest bystanders proceeded to stone the three police vehicles hitting and injuring one policeman in the face with a rock and another with a beer bottle.
The three vehicles returned to base and proceeded back to the area with reinforcements. Approximately 50 police officers patrolled the area on foot supported by 20 police vans and the police helicopter.
Two suspects – known gang members – were arrested and the main shooter and suspect, whilst known to the police, was not caught.
The SAPS released a statement earlier today that said; “At about 20:00 last night police members including the Cluster Operational Command Centre, Gelvandale, Flying Squad, Public Order Policing and the Air Wing saturated the area of Helenvale, hunting down the suspects. Two suspects aged, 23 and 26 years old were arrested at a house in Martin Street while the other two suspects, both aged 23 years were also arrested at another house in Martin Street. All the suspects are affiliated to the New Kids gang. They were detained on charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to property. They are expected to appear in court on Monday, 5 February 2018.”
Bongo Street shootings do appear to be in the news quite a lot as these three reports indicate:
- IOL reported on 10 January 2018 – A 30-year-old victim sustained a gunshot wound to her chest while she was sitting on the steps of her house. Naidu said a suspect was reportedly seen at the corner of Leith and Bongo Street in Helenvale when shots were fired in the victim’s direction. Police are investigating a case of attempted murder but added that no arrests had been made.
- Herald Live reported on 22 July 2016 – A man was shot dead in Helenvale on Friday morning. Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the 45-year-old man was in Bongo Street at about 8am when two unknown men shot at him several times. “He sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his body. The suspects ran away. No arrests made and police have opened a case of murder,” Naidu said.
- Algoa FM reported on 6 March 2013 – Two people were wounded in a shooting incident in Helenvale, Port Elizabeth on Wednesday. Police spokesperson, warrant officer Alwin Labans says a man, dressed in a freezer suit, walked up Bongo Street, and fired 10 shots at a group of people. He says a 36-year old woman was hit in the back, and a 30 year-old man was shot in the knee and groin.