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Cape gang violence on the rise

Cape communities are worried innocent people may be killed in a fresh spate of gang violence.

A chart showing gang violence hotspots in Cape Town communities. Picture: Chantall Presence/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Community Policing Board is concerned about a fresh outbreak of gang violence in some Cape Town communities.

A number of people have been shot dead in the past week in Delft, Mitchells Plain, Kraaifontein and Elsies River.

On Thursday, the brother of an alleged gang boss was wounded during a drive by shooting in Belhar.

The board's Hanif Loonat believes the drug trade is at the heart of the matter.

"It's become a normal trend in our communities to see that gangsters have taken on each other in the public domain and in doing so innocent people are being shot and killed."

Meanwhile, the Delft Community Policing Forum (CPF) said a number of measures will be implemented to ensure the success of an anti-crime campaign.

Operation Take Back was launched on Thursday.

Residents have given suspected gang and drug lords an ultimatum to stop their activities or leave the area.

The CPF's Reginald Maart said residents are afraid to leave their homes due to the ongoing shootings.

"The aim is to get all the drug lords and all the gang bosses out of the area. We need to take back the streets and our parks and everything that belong to the community because that's where our gangs are shooting."

The CPF on Thursday also urged residents in gang riddled communities to refrain from selling drugs in return for favours from gang bosses.

Loonat said in many instances, parents agree to be drug runners while kingpins promised to put their children through school and satisfy other daily needs.

He said although it was a desperate attempt by poor mothers to care for their children, it was one of the reasons that gang violence remained rife in the Western Cape.

"Gangsters are as strong as the support they get from their communities. As communities we need to cut ties with these gangsters. We need to clampdown on them instead of using them as a means to put food on the table."

In 2012, over 30 people including children were killed in gang-related violence throughout the province.

Gangsterism affects schooling as many children are forced to stay indoors due to random shootings.

Lats year, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille asked the Presidency to deploy the army to quell gang-violence, but her request was denied.

The Presidency said soldiers were not trained to deal with civilians.