NPA and SAPS work to convict more gangs

Police will receive training on how to gather evidence against gangs and successfully convict them.

Pupils from St George Primary in Lavender Hill were in June, 2012, sent home because of gang violence. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Western Cape and the South African Police Service (SAPS) will join forces to train officers on how to better handle gang syndicates in the Cape Peninsula, government said on Saturday.

Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions Rodney de Kock said convicting gang members was a challenge because it was difficult to gather evidence against suspects.

He says gathering evidence and attempting to understand how gangs operate is difficult because information is often known to gang members only.

De Kock added that securing witnesses to testify in gang-related cases was also a challenge because the prosecuting authority often had to rely on gang members and convicted criminals to turn witness.

In recent months, gang violence in the Western Cape has risen despite several peace agreements signed.