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Gang violence affects schooling

Hanover Park children are forced to stay away from school due to ongoing gang violence in the area.

Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant addresses Hanover Park residents during a march against gangsterism on 17 November 2012. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Hanover Park residents and school children on Saturday held a march to raise awareness about how gang related incidents interfere with their education.

Residents met on an open field, where they were addressed, by police and government officials.

They told officials they are afraid of sending their children to school due to continuous gang violence in the area.

Shaakirah Gasnodien has been living in Hanover Park her entire life.

The 40-year-old said at times she had to keep her daughter from going to school because of early morning shootings.

Gasnodien said this lead to her child missing out on important school work.

Voorspoed Primary School teacher Nadeen Wesso said something needs to be done urgently as it is difficult to teach learners, who are constantly, fearing for their lives.

The area is one of several communities battling gang violence.

Over 25 people have been killed in gang violence since January.

Earlier this year, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille asked the national government to deploy the army in gang-infested areas but her request was turned down.

The government argued that the army is not trained in dealing with civilians.

Meanwhile, Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has been calling for the reestablishment of specialised police units as he believes they can help in the fight against drugs and gangsterism.