Manenberg ceasefire on edge

A truce between gangs is on the verge of collapse after a girl was shot in the neck while playing in a park.

FILE: A member of the Ugly Americans gang holds up his tattoos or "tjappies", also known as flags, indicating which gang he is from. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Manenberg Safety Forum said it is confident it will be able to convince gang leaders to commit to a lasting ceasefire.

A truce between the gangs, which was reached at the beginning of the month, is crumbling after a 13-year-old girl was shot in the neck while playing in a park last week.

Gangsters had been asked and initially agreed not to shoot at each other during the school holidays.

The Manenberg Safety Forum's Roegshanda Pascoe said getting gang leaders to agree on a truce was not easy.

"It was not easy to get them speaking with us, because they're not familiar with us."

Pascoe also said not all gangsters are on board and this can cause further violence in the future.

"A few incidents happened where there were disagreements among the individuals within gang members.

The Manenberg community is expected to meet tonight to discuss ongoing efforts to eradicate gangsterism.


Last week, a Cape Town trauma centre called for a commission of inquiry in a bid to end ongoing gang violence.

The Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture said gang-related murders account for 18 percent of the province's murder statistics.

Recent reports released by the centre also revealed more than 100 gangs are operating in the Cape.

The centre's Valdi van Reenen-Le Roux said the commission of inquiry is needed to investigate the effect of gang violence and establish preventative measures.

"The fact that they shoot in Manenberg every single day doesn't frighten parents therefore they can't link the behaviour of their children in class with the actual trauma."

In April, Manenberg residents renewed their calls for the army to be deployed to quell gang violence.

At the same time, the Health Department declared Manenberg a danger zone, which means ambulances are not allowed in without a police escort.