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'Cape gangs filling their ranks'

Police say gang members usually recruit new members during quiet times to build capacity.

FILE: Police say gang members usually recruit new members during quiet times to build capacity. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape police top brass say gangs may be replenishing their ranks during so-called cease fires.

The police's Jeremy Vearey, who heads up 'Operation Combat', an initiative aimed to reduce gang violence, says it's been quiet in areas like Manenberg and Hanover Park.

The suburbs have in the past seen deadly gang shootings.

Vearey says during quiet times gangs recruit members and seek to build strong capacity.

"It's during quiet times that their strength grows and it is during quiet times that business capacity increases."

The Western Cape Department of Community Safety says it is preparing to hold several roadshows in an attempt to deter teenagers from joining gangs.

Khayelitsha, Valhalla Park and Saldanha Bay have been identified as key areas.

In Khayelitsha, gangs like the Vatos and the Vuras are growing in popularity with youngsters.

A commission of inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha briefly looked at the issue of gangs in the township during a series of public hearings.

Experts warned the problem needed to be quashed before it spirals out of control.

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