'Gangsterism is a complex problem'

Lavender Hill in Cape Town. Picture: Janine Willemans/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Police Secretariat said on Tuesday said the Western Cape's gangsterism woes will not go away with a magic wand.

Jenni Irish-Qhobosheane believes a more holistic approach is needed to fight the scourge.

Dozens of people including women and children have been killed due to gang violence in and around the Western Cape in recent months.

Irish-Qhobosheane said the problem cannot be addressed overnight.

“It’s a complex problem and cannot just be just be dealt with from a law-enforcement angle. In the Western Cape there’s a whole economy that survives around the drug trade. There’s an entire social economy that lives around it that needs to be broken down.”

“We need approaches that wil have a long-term impact on reducing it. I think people expect the police to come in and wave a magic wand so the gang problem will be gone. I don’t think they understand the complexities of the gang problem.”

Last week South African President Jacob Zuma announced the army will not be deployed to high risk gang areas like Lavender Hill and Hanover Park.

Meanwhile, four youths were shot execution style and left for dead in a wendy house in Uitsig on Monday.

Uitsig and Ravensmead residents have decided to start a neighbourhood watch in their community in a bid to stop gangsterism.

They fear their children may be caught in crossfires between drug lords.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)