Within a space of a week, eight people died in Bonteheuwel, all of them in drive-by shootings and all of them gang-related.
This is according to Bishop Lavis Community Police Forum chairman Graham Lindhorst, who warns gang violence will get much worse if police don’t take drastic action.
“Gangsters have seen a gap in policing efforts and they have taken it, and unless police send extra forces into our area and they go back to hardcore policing, gangsters will continue doing what they do best and that is cause havoc in our communities.”
Manenberg Community Safety Forum chairwoman Roegchanda Pascoe said “all hell broke loose” last Wednesday evening as gangs shot at each other for hours. A 16-year-old boy was shot in his back and another youth was also in hospital.
On Monday June 15, the body of a 23-year-old man was found in Madge Court, Manenberg.
“There are two fights in the area at the moment,” Ms Pascoe said. “The one is between the Americans and the Fancy Boys and the other is between the Americans and the Hard Livings.
“A mediation meeting was supposed to take place but that was postponed. There is also infighting in the Hard Livings gang as their leader, Rashied Staggie, was killed last year, and there is still no leader so it’s that and fights with gangs over protecting their turf. In gangs they live by the code ‘a life for a life’,” she said.
Manenberg’s children were traumatised by the ongoing gang violence and risked carrying deep psychological scars into adulthood, she warned.
“Police are not doing their jobs properly. People are scared to work with them because they don’t trust them. We are tired of seminars and speeches and long documents that are not being carried out, we need action.”
Hanover Park Community Police Forum spokeswoman Kashiefa Mohamad said seven people had been killed in the area since last Tuesday. Shooting happened in broad daylight and residents feared for their lives. The shooting got worse at night, she said, and from 6.30pm Hanover Park’s streets were empty.
“We are so tired of this shooting,” she said, adding that a 50-year-old Hanover Park man, a member of the Americans gang, had been shot in Athlone on Friday June 19.
“Things are really getting bad for us. There is some police visibility but only when we complain and request them.”
Ms Mohamad said the police should work with the residents because they knew the area best.
“We stay here; we know what is going on. They get into their cars and leave the area when they are done.”
Manenberg police spokesman Captain Ian Bennett said emerging gangs were making their presence known in the area, and he appealed to communities to help the police.”Shootings have increased rapidly and gangs are creating fear in communities. We know it’s difficult for parents to report their sons who are gangsters, but we want things to improve so they must report it.”
According to Captain Bennett, a 53-year-old woman was shot in the head at a house in Lataba Road, Manenberg, on Friday June 19 after a 31-year-old man known to the family visited house in the early hours, wanting to sell a jacket. When the family refused, the man fired a shot through the front window hitting the woman who was asleep in the front room.
She is currently in hospital.
On Thursday June 18, at 8.15am a 41-year-old homeless man died after being shot in the head in Danube Street Manenberg.
Eyewitnesses had seen two masked men running from the scene, Captain Bennett said.
Anyone with information can contact Manenberg SAPS on 021699 9400 or Crime Stop at 08600 10111.