WC gang violence escalates

The latest area to be hit by gang violence was Lotus River's Pumlazi Village.

Guns & bullets. Picture: sxc.hu

CAPE TOWN - Some Lavender Hill parents on Thursday said the ongoing gang violence in the area has forced them to send their children away for the holidays.

Rival gang members have opened fire on each other several times this week.

Western Cape schools close will close on Friday, for the annual winter holidays.

Lavender Hill mother Chantel Kill said with gang shootings occurring almost daily, she's taking no chances.

Her daughter will be spending the bulk of the school holiday at a relative's house.

Kill said this is the only way her little girl will be out of harm's way.

"There are no gangsters, its quiet there. She can play wherever she wants to."

Another concerned parent Adele Campell said she will also be sending her 7-year-old daughter away.

"How do we work during the day, knowing that they can get shot at any time of the day?"

These mothers said they would do anything to protect their children - only then will they have peace of mind.

Meanwhile, the principal of a Lavender Hill school has expressed concern about the safety of her pupils during the school holidays.

Lameez Rabbany from Prince George Primary said she was worried many could be in harm's way as they are largely left unsupervised by their working parents.

Rabbany said she wanted all her learners to return to school safely.

"Please be sure that you stay indoors and please be sure that we have all of you coming back on the first day of school because that is our concern."

The winter school holidays kick start today.

Several gang shootings have occurred in the area this week.

A grade 7 pupil said she was going away for the holidays in order to be safe.

"I'm going away for the holiday, but I'm scared for my mother and my sister."


The Grassy Park Community Policing Forum said residents of gang infested areas must act as eyes for the police to get more guns off the streets.

Community members said they were living in fear after four people were shot dead and one injured in a drug turf war nearby Pumlani Village on Sunday.

They said gang shootings were a daily occurrence.

Western Cape has been battling gang violence in different areas including Khayelitsha and Gugulethu.

The forum's Phillip Bam said police were not fulfilling their mandate by maintaining the visible policing approach.

"You can't only do visible policing whenever there's a problem. It has to be sustained visible policing. So that the criminals can know they can't take over the town as they are doing now."

In May, Community MEC Dan Plato met with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to discuss the issue.