Communities fear Cape gangs

Lavender Hill residents say people are too scared to report gang threats to police.

An eight-year-old boy, who was killed by gangs in Steenberg, was laid to rest on 28 June 2012. Picture: Nathan Adams/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A community leader in Lavender Hill on Thursday said people were scared to report threats by gangsters to police, as word often gets out, putting their lives at even greater risk.

Ayesha Davids, who has been told she is second on a gang hit list, said the murder of her friend and fellow neighbourhood watch member Soraya Nordien has left many afraid.

But Davids said her friend's death has spurred her on in her fight to get gang members off the streets.

"I'm not scared because I'm a God fearing person and God has the last say. I'm just worried about my children. I worry about their safety."

A self-confessed reformed gangster said to stop the scourge children should know that making money from gang-related activities will land them in big trouble one day.

"Gangsterism is not life. There's more to life than the material things."

Many Cape Town communities have been battling increased gang violence in recent month.

Recently, an eight-year-old boy was shot dead in Steenberg while playing soccer with his friends.

Many parents have been forced to send their children away during the school holidays as they fear for their safety.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has been calling for the reintroduction of specialised gang units to fight gangsterism and drug abuse.