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Gangs use youth to sell drugs – Plato

Several Western Cape communities live in fear due to the ongoing gang violence.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato says he is not surprised by the high number of young people involved in gangsterism and crime.

Police have revealed in the last eight months at least 16 teenagers have been arrested for being involved in gang activity.

Many of the suspects were apprehended in Mitchells Plain.

The youths aged between 14 and 18-years-old face charges of murder, attempted murder and being in possession of illegal firearms.

Plato says these youths are being used by older gangsters to commit certain crimes.

"The youth is being used by the older gangsters to sell drugs on their behalf. They are also using the youth to act as hitmen and a number of youths admit they are involved in these atrocities."

Last week, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille met with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa in an effort to come up with solutions to the ongoing gang violence.

She also announced an additional R6 million to fight the scourge.

Over 30 people, including children, have been caught in gang crossfire in recent months.

Recently, schools were closed temporarily in Manenberg due to gang shootings.

Residents say they live in constant fear and have called on authorities to do more in the fight against gangs.

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