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Youth leader killed in #BishopLavis gang crossfire

Violence in Bishop Lavis appears to have spiralled out of control. 
The latest victim of ongoing gang violence in the area was a 30-year-old youth leader who was caught in the crossfire. 
Chrissandra Opperman was shot in the head at around 6pm after returning from a church youth outing. 
She was a youth leader in the Golden Gate congregation of the New Apostolic Church. 
"She was a very smart, young and beautiful person," Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said. "She had a beautiful soul. It’s just a sad situation."
The local community policing forum (CPF) chairperson Graham Lindhorst said: "We have had a lot of fatalities since the beginning of August. It’s been quite hard but police have been maintaining a very strong presence in the area.
"We are working on getting everyone involved, such as stakeholders, schools and businesses to help us to deal with gangsterism."
Last week Community Safety MEC Dan Plato did a walk-through of the area. 
"Mr Plato did a walk through but we feel that this won’t help, we need solutions and tangible solutions to help deal with gangsterism," Lindhorst said.
In a separate incident, police and law enforcement officers conducted a raid after receiving a tip-off about abalone processing being conducted in Bishop Lavis.
Abalone worth R8 million was recovered from a home at the corner of Netreg and Oleander roads.
During the operation officers were attacked by gang members who later fired shots. 
"In this process, a 44-year-old man was fatally wounded," police spokesperson FC van Wyk said. "The community started burning tyres closing off the bridge at Robert Sobukwe, between Bonteheuwel and Netreg, then they also closed off Valhalla Drive and stoned passing cars."
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Policing is due to be briefed by the police and the directorate for priority crime investigation, The Hawks, about anti-gang strategies this week. The committee has been calling for intensified anti-gang and illegal gun strategies specifically focusing on the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.  
"We have too many incidents, especially in the Cape Flats, where young children are the victims of intra-gang strife," portfolio committee chairperson Francois Beukman said. "We need to strengthen the multi-pronged approach to deal with the circulation of illegal firearms and the sources of the illegal firearms that are used in carrying out violent crimes."
Tuesday’s meeting will give committee members an opportunity to interrogate and propose additions to the strategies tabled by the police and the Hawks. 
"The need to strengthen community relations in areas affected by gangsters is a big task, and more resources should be made available to the Crime Intelligence division to increase their footprint in the affected areas," Beukman said.

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