Gang activity escalating on the Cape Flats with more youth involved

Crime fighters and residents on the Cape Flats are alarmed by the rise in school-going youth involved in gang activity. The situation is undoubtedly spiralling out of control.

Children as young as 10 carrying guns

Cape Flats areas like Ottery, Manenberg, Grassy Park, Mitchells Plain, and Hanover Park have seen a significant increase in gang activity.

Community activist Lynn Phillips stated that gangs often use learners for drug trafficking and selling drugs in schools. These children often carry guns. The gangs that recruit them will usually also supply them with firearms, reported capetownetc.

Hanover Park Community Policing Forum (CPF) spokesperson Kashiefa Mohammed emphasised the tragic reality of these children, some as young as 10, carrying guns and committing violent acts under gang orders. She also emphasised the lack of harsh consequences for young offenders.

“These kids should be playing games and sports, but instead, they’re drawn to gangs for quick money.”

Kashiefa Mohammed, Hanover Park CPF spokesperson

Lavender Hill CPF chairperson Gavin Walbrugh expressed deep concern over the increasing gang activity. He noted a rise in violence during school holidays on the Cape Flats despite police presence.

Innocent victims caught in crossfires

The harsh reality of gang activity is that bystanders are often caught in the crossfire and many of them get killed.

In a recent incident, gangsters shot and killed 17-year-old Shante Adams. She was sitting with friends in Delft on the Cape Flats in a wendy house. The gangsters shot through the roof of the wendy house, hitting Shante in her head. Shante tried to run outside, but she fell down before she reached the door. 

Her mother, Griszelda, is still struggling to cope with the loss of her child. Shante’s death is the third in their family due to gang activity. Gang members shot and killed her uncles aged 18 and 28 in 2019 and 2021 respectively, as reported by Daily Voice.

According to the Western Cape Department of Health, between 1 January and 12 June 2024, public health facilities treated 333 children for firearm-related injuries. This included 58 fatalities. Most children that medical staff treat for gunshot wounds are innocent victims of gang activity.

Oldest gang war raging on the Cape Flats

The oldest gang war in Cape Town between the Yuru Cats and the Mongrels gangs is once again raging on the Cape Flats, according to Eyewitness News.

Residents in Ottery and the surrounding Lotus River and Grassy Park areas on the Cape Flats have been on edge for more than a month.

In the latest incident, gang members killed a 24-year-old man and injured three others in a shooting.

Cape Flats resident and reformed gangster, Brandon Eckhardt, said that the violence was the worst he has ever seen.

“In all of the 20 years that I have been in Ottery, I have never seen a gang war like this. And it’s sad when I see the brutality of these kids that they have now … The Cape Flats is filled with psychopathic killers … these boys are ruthless.”

Brandon Eckhardt, former gang member

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