'Staggie should help fight gang violence'

The Manenberg community says Rashied Staggie should play a role in fighting gang violence in the area.

FILE: Rashied Staggie in 2013. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - The Manenberg Community Policing Forum says if ex-gang boss Rashied Staggie is indeed done with gangsterism, he should encourage the youth to stay out of trouble.

Staggie was released on full parole this week.

He served more than a decade behind bars after he was convicted on a charge of rape in 2003 and sentenced to 15 years in jail

He was also found guilty of robbing a police armoury.

The Manenberg CPF's Kader Jacobs says with his gained knowledge, he should play a pivotal role in fighting gang violence in the community.

"With his knowledge, he should try to prevent the youngsters from joining gangs. He should use those skills to educate the community around the issues of gangsterism."

But the Bishop Lavis CPF's, Faisel Abrahams, doesn't believe Staggie is truly reformed.

"I'm absolutely opposed to his being released again. He has done a lot of damage."

Meanwhile, a programme intended to curb gang-activity in a Cape Town township should be up and running in time for the December holidays.

The R500,000 campaign will be launched in Khayelitsha by the Western Cape Community Safety Department.

It forms part of the department's action plan in implementing the recommendations of the commission of inquiry that's recently concluded.

The commission ordered that a strategy to deal with youth gangs in Khayelitsha be in place in six months.

The Social Justice Coalition's Axolile Notywala says they have welcomed the initiative, but adds it will take some time for results to show.

"Putting aside the politics, putting aside the party politics, if all the relevant levels of government could work together, work with civil society organisations, work with residents, I'm pretty sure the recommendations are achievable in a few years."