The Cape Flats is being torn apart by gang warfare – from Lavender Hill to Delft. The communities in these areas live in fear daily, and hearing gunshots at all hours of the day has become an unpleasant norm. A video shared on social media shows what people in the area have to deal with every day. Shots continuously ring out throughout the short clip. It is unknown how many people were shot in the video, or where the video was shot.
Speaking to Radio 786, Dr Simon Howell – who is a researcher at the Centre of Criminology at the University of Cape Town (UCT) – said the easing of lockdown restrictions may play a role in the sharp increase of gang violence plaguing the Cape Flats.
Many innocent people, including several children, have lost their lives to gang violence on the Cape Flats in the last two weeks:
– A three-year-old girl was shot in Ravensmead on the evening of Monday, June 15. Her father was also wounded in the shooting. The little girl died in the shooting.
– A three-year-old boy was shot dead and his father was wounded in Lavender Hill on the evening of Monday, June 15. They were standing outside their home in the Hillview neighbourhood when a masked shooter opened fire. The boy’s father ran indoors with him and the shooter allegedly followed. The young boy died on arrival at a Retreat medical facility.
– Police are currently investigating a double murder that took place in Belhar on Friday, June 12. A 27-year-old mother and her seven-year-old daughter were found stabbed and killed in a Belhar home. The pair lived in the Leiden neighbourhood, and were discovered after going missing for three days.
– Dancer and LGBTQIA+ activist Kirvan Fortuin was stabbed to death by a 14-year-old on Friday, June 12.
– Taxi driver Rodney Jackson (50) was killed in Bishop Lavis on Monday, June 15, along with his ‘gaatjie’ Graham Pasquallie (30). An undisclosed amount of money was taken from the pair, and the float money from Jackson’s taxi business.
– Mikhail Amos, who was 24-years-old, was killed by a stray bullet during a drive-by shooting in the Parkwood area on Saturday, June 13.
– Two Eskom security guards were gunned down in Phillipi East as they escorted technicians out of the area on Monday, June 15. The technicians managed to escape unscathed.
– A 25-year-old man also gunned down in a gang-related incident in Wicht Court, Lavender Hill. It is alleged that the man had gone outside after being called by an unknown person when he was shot.
– Police are investigating the murder of a 40-year-old Retreat resident on Monday, June 15. It is alleged that the man was shot in the abdomen and buttocks.
According to Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie, the past two to three weeks have been “traumatic” for the residents of the Bonteheuwel area.
There have been seven murders and eight shooting incidents in the area during this time period alone, and this is in stark contrast to the improvement that the area made in recent months.
“We have seen a 50% reduction in gang-related murders after the deployment of 100 City of Cape Town Law Enforcement officers to the area,” McKenzie said. “Sadly, because of COVID-19 regulations, these officers were removed from the area and placed into hotspot areas to ensure social distancing and regulations are adhered to.”
McKenzie notes an increase in gang violence since the Western Cape moved down to Level 3 of lockdown.
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Picture: Cape Flats Stories