The residents in Lavender Hill, Cape Town are on edge after the killing of a gang leader and his 11-year-old son. Residents say it might lead to an outbreak of gang violence.
On Friday, a 42-year-old Fast Gun gang leader, Cheslin Nelson, was shot dead, alongside his 11-year-old son in their home in Shepherd Road.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said another man was injured in the attack, reports News24.
Community activist Howard Soetwater said gang violence in the area is getting out of control, and he fears that retaliation from rival gangs in the area will erupt soon.
Soetwater expressed his fears by saying: “We are scared. The killing of the leader of the Fast Gun gang has brought immense fear among us as residents because we don’t know when the retaliation shooting will begin.”
He added that the community is unstable and quite frightened about the killing of the prominent gang leader, Cheslin Nelson and his son.
“We need urgent intervention by police and government because as long as there are gangs around, the senseless killings will continue,” Soetwater said.
Furthermore, Soetwater also mentioned that Nelson was the gang’s leader for many years and that there has always been hits put out for him.
“These gangs fight over territory, leadership, and drugs, and it’s sad because when they are fighting, innocent people are caught in the crossfire. We have had several marches to the Steenberg police station to hear what proposals they are putting in place to curb the crime in the area, but we have still not seen anything,” said Soetwater.
With Soetwater being a community activist for 40 years, he has seen gang violence on the Cape Flats worsen every year.
Steenberg community policing forum (CPF) chairperson Gavin Walbrugh said they are very disturbed by the murder. Walbrugh said the community was worried about a possible flare-up of violence.
Walbrugh said it was easy to blame the police for not doing their jobs to protect people, but communities also had a responsibility to offer them tip-offs on where the drugs, firearms, and ammunition were being kept.
In conclusion, Wallbrugh urged members of the community to assist the police and other law enforcement agencies, saying: “The community must become partners to the law enforcement agencies to stand together to prevent crime in all fashions, initiate the process of establishing more neighbourhood watches, street committees, block committees, activists against gangsterism, and always supporting the government organisations… We must all work together to combat these senseless killings.”