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Gang violence becoming a 'norm'

A local principal says schoolchildren are becoming desensitised to gang violence.

Gangs vandalise schools around Cape Town. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - A principal at a Manenberg high school says he fears children are accepting gang violence as a norm in the area.

Manenberg, among several other Cape Town communities, has been plagued by gang violence over the last few weeks.

At least 10 people have died in the area alone - many of them innocent bystanders.

Phoenix Secondary School principal Shafiek Abrahams says children have almost become desensitised to the violence around them because it happens all the time.

He says parents rushed to fetch their children from school on Tuesday as shooting incidents were particularly bad in the area.

"This is not normal. In our societies this should not be normal. For me, these learners need to know this is not normal."

Earlier this week, Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato called for the army to be deployed in gang-infested areas.

Plato expressed fears that many communities, including Manenberg, were living in fear due to the ongoing gang violence.

This is not the first time that the Western Cape government has asked for the army to help fight gangsterism.

In 2012, Premier Helen Zille wrote to the Presidency asking for the army to be deployed to quell gang violence, but her request was denied.

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