Actions do speak louder than words.
That’s exactly how the police dealt with the Imbali gang that has been terrorising Pietermaritzburg communities for months, if not years.
While it is unfortunate that the gang could not be taken alive, and justice be done through the courts, the circumstances at the house on Tuesday night were undoubtedly very dangerous for the team that went in to arrest the gang members.
The raid at a Scottsville home that resulted in the death of the gang’s head honcho and six others, followed harsh criticism of the police and Minister Bheki Cele as residents felt they were not doing enough about the ongoing killings in Imbali.
The trail of destruction the gang left in their wake is said to include several robberies and at least 20 deaths this year alone. This contributed to Plessislaer Police Station recording the most murders in the country in the first quarter of 2021.
Families of some of the victims of this violence had also lost hope of seeing justice being done. Especially after some of the suspects escaped when a truck transporting prisoners was ambushed by armed men on its way from New Prison to the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court in April. The brazen attack on the police truck showed how dangerous these criminals were. Cele got the message that he was clearly not dealing with any small-time thugs.
The task team deployed to find the killers executed their mission without a single one of them being harmed. The security companies that worked with them must also be applauded for their contribution to the clamping down on criminal elements that prey on the innocent. Now that the head of the snake has been chopped off, it is hoped that the police will deal urgently with its writhing body because it can also do extensive damage if left unattended.
While police intelligence will go a long way to catching those still roaming the streets, members of the public must also remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the authorities.