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Cape gangs on recruitment drive

Hanover Park parents fear the worst for their sons who are being recruited by gangs.

Some Hanover Park parents are under constant fear their sons are being lured into gangsterism.  Picture: Nathan Adams/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Some Hanover Park parents say their children have become soft targets for gangsters who are recruiting them into their ranks.

An Eyewitness News investigation looked into gang recruitment, a practice which many fear is becoming more widespread.

Eyewitness News spoke to members of the 'Islanders', who say they were recruiting youngsters for a bigger gang called the 'Americans'.

According to Zahir Matthews, a recruiter for the 'Americans', money drugs and power are the main motivators used to get youngster to agree to join gangs.

Matthews, who was recruited when he was still a scholar, says the gang is constantly on the lookout for new members in order to dominate the territory.

"When we were younger there were people older than us in the same gang who were fighting for the grounds. Now the cycle goes on."

He says the parents of children recruited are not doing anything to stop them.

"They don't encourage their children to leave the gangs, they just go with it."

The gang recruiter says more than 10 boys between the ages of 16 and 18 have been recruited for the Americans gang since the beginning of this month.

(Edirted by: Tamsin Wort)