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Gang violence is social issue - NGO

NGO Ceasefire Campaign says that gang violence is a social issue and effective policing is the only answer.

Pupils from St George Primary in Lavender Hill are sent home because of gang violence. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN
Jacob Zuma,gang violence,Trevor Manuel,Ceasefire Campaign,Helmut Heitman,Hele Zille
Local


CAPE TOWN - Non-governmental organisation (NGO) the Ceasefire Campaign believes calls for the army to be deployed to some of Cape Town's gang ravaged suburbs, are misguided.

The Presidency said it will be responding to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's letter, requesting the army's presence in Hanover Park and Lavender Hill, in due course.

Between 30 and 40 people have been killed in different areas due to gang violence over the past six months.

The Ceasefire Campaign's Guni Govindjee said they were concerned this was a social problem.

“A social problem should not be dealt with in a military fashion; the military is not trained to deal with a social problem. What we need is effective policing.”

He said police are the only answer.

“Police should go in large numbers and conduct house to house searches, disarm the gang leaders. [However] that should not be where the work ends. There’s still a lot more that needs to be put in place.”

Defence analyst Helmut Heitman said he was weary about how the army would be used.

“Deployment of troops in support of the police, providing signals, providing helicopters to move police search parties, that sort of thing you can do.”

National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel feels drugs were to blame for today's gang violence.

“Drugs are right at the centre. My view in fact, is that drugs are the cause of gang warfare, it is also chemical warfare against young people.”

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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