Cape gang life: A difficult way out

A crime expert says young men may find it hard to leave behind their lives of crime.

FILE: A Cape Town gangster shows his gang markings. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN

CAPE TOWN - With Western Cape gang members constantly living in fear of becoming the province's latest murder statistics, gangsters hoping to leave the criminal underworld may face a tough task doing so.

Local crime expert Eldred de Klerk warns young men may find it difficult turning away from a life of crime.

"When somebody leaves the gang, they also leave with knowledge of the gang. This means they have information which may compromise and incriminate members within the gang. So they pose a threat."

At least 20 people, including two school pupils, have been killed in suspected gang-related shootings in Cape Town over the last month.

The apparent surge in gang violence is believed to be related to ongoing turf wars and control of the local drug trade.

De Klerk says there may be many more revenge attacks.

Last Wednesday, a 16-year-old was was gunned down in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain. The two gunmen fled the scene.

A day later Western Cape police arrested a man for allegedly stabbing two people at a funeral in Mitchells Plain. One of the victims died at the scene, while the other was taken to hospital. Police say they can't confirm whether the attack was gang-related.


Meanwhile, two teenagers, Wilston Stoffels and Jonathan Snyman, who allegedly shot and killed Spes Bona High School pupil Glenrico Martin almost two weeks ago will appear in the Wynberg Magistrates Court on Monday.

Martin, who is believed to have been a member of the Hard Livings gang, was shot in the head after being confronted by three young men at the Athlone school. The third person is still on the run.

The shooting is believed to be gang-related.

Stoffels and Snyman appeared in court last week but the matter was postponed to allow prosecutors to determine if the suspects had previous convictions or outstanding court cases.

It's believed the gunmen posed as Spes Bona pupils before approaching Martin.

The 19-year-old victim was honoured at a memorial service before being laid to rest in Maitland.