‘Drugs at the root of CT gang violence’

There have been calls for the army to be deployed to curb gang violence.

FILE: Bullets found during a crime operations police raid in Manenberg. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Many communities dealing with gang violence also tend to have massive drug problems, says Dr Don Pinnock, honorary research associate at the University of Cape Town's centre of criminology and chairperson of Usiko Trust.

"It's absolutely necessary to reduce the drug trade. That's one of the huge problems in these townships, there are too many drugs and many of these wars are around drugs," Pinnock says.

But he says that in an area such as Manenberg the gang war appears to be related to contractors and the payment of protection money.

Over the past week in Manenberg alone, 18 people have been either wounded or killed during gang crossfire.

The Cape Flats Concerned Residents Association and the Manenberg community have since renewed their calls for the army to be deployed in the areas in attempts to curb gang violence.

This is a call which Pinnock says may prove to be disastrous as defence force members are trained to deal with problems using fire power.

LISTEN: Curbing gang violence in the Cape Flats