Gang violence: CT communities plead with authorities to intervene

Community leaders from both neighbourhoods fear the worst as retaliations usually follow after a murder.

FILE: The suburb of Manenberg in the Western Cape. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Following yet another weekend that saw gang violence claim the lives of two more people, two Cape Town communities are pleading with authorities to immediately intervene.

A-16-year-old boy was killed in an apparent drive-by shooting in Bonteheuwel on Friday night while a suspected gang member was gunned down in Manenberg.

It's unclear whether the teenager was the target of the attack.

Community leaders from both neighbourhoods fear the worst as retaliations usually follow after a murder.

The Manenberg Safety Forum's Roegshanda Pascoe says efforts to broker a peace deal have failed.

"There is no more talking. They believe they must take revenge."

The Bonteheuwel Joint Peace Forum Judy Kennedy says they want police to do more.

Manenberg residents are planning a march to Parliament this week.

Gun battles between rival gangs have left eight people dead and more than 20 wounded over the past month.


Last month, Manenberg was declared a no-go zone for ambulances unless being escorted by police amid gang violence in the area.

Emergency services' Robert Daniels said provincial health classified the area a danger zone.

"Manenberg has been identified as a red danger zone and emergency medical services are unable to enter the area without police escort"

Daniels added that this will only be lifted if police feel the area is safe.


The gang war forced schools to close early, last month, according to a community leader.

The Manenberg Safety Forum said most learners in the area stayed away from school for a week.

Pascoe said those who went to school were sent home early.

"Most parents are working so it's a concern when these shooting happen, in terms of who is going to fetch the children and who will keep them safe inside."

Residents have called for the army to be deployed to quell gang violence.

Pascoe questioned why the army was called in to help quell xenophobic violence, but has not been an option to assist in the war on gangs.

She added that residents were under the impression there was no plan to combat gang violence in Manenberg.

Click here to read EWN's Manenberg: Living in Fear feature.