Manenberg kids unsafe at school & home

Manenberg residents live in fear due to ongoing gang violence in their community.

Manenberg residents carry white flags symbolising peace in a march against continuous gang violence in the area on 3 August 2013. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Manenberg parents believe school is the safest place for their children as shootings continue on the streets and outside homes.

On Wednesday, Western Cape Education Department officials announced schools in the area will be closed at least until Monday due to ongoing gang violence.

Authorities are meeting with teachers and police to discuss safety at school.

Yusuf Hendricks, a local parent, says it's not fair that his child has to go to school under dangerous conditions.

Hendricks says keeping his daughter at home for the next two days is not ideal but he understands why this is being done.

He says "gangsters shoot near schools" and sometimes the children are caught in the crossfire.

At least 12,000 children are affected by the decision to shut the schools for the next two days.

Meanwhile, Premier Helen Zille has written an open letter to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the spike in gang violence in the area.

Zille wants to meet the minister to find a solution.

At least 30 people, including children, have been killed in the crossfire as gangs fight over control for territory.

Gang violence has also spread to areas such as Khayelitsha and Nyanga as many schoolchildren are forced to join gangs.