Youth needs right coordinates to fight

2017-06-15 06:01
OPinionThembile Ndabeni

OPinionThembile Ndabeni

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The youth has the potential to be reckless if their energy is not utilized properly.

As Christians would say: If you create a vacuum by not praying the devil will fill the space.

The consequences of such are usually brutal with the community bearing the brunt.

The townships in Cape Town in 1987 had to deal with the work of the devil when the youth ran amok as gangsters.

Suddenly people woke up with various gangster groups such as Iintsara, Ama-Arderley, Amafela and so on. These gangsters’ existence split families right down in the middle. Brothers and cousins would belong to different gangsters.

When the fights started, they would emerge from the same house but with differing allegiances.

There were widespread rumours that members of these gangsters used umuthi for protection against harm or death and or to weaken the enemy. Some claimed the amabhanti (arm belts) with umuthi made them invisible to their rivals.

They also developed vampirish tendencies, where they sucked the blood of their victims after a stabbing incident.

Families of the deceased can testify to this spectre.

Schooling was disrupted because fighting would erupt at any time of the day, or even waylay others in order to pounce on them on their way from school.

Rumours also spread that police were complicit in these attacks, with claims that they at times offered protection to various gangsters in the conflict.

The innocent were not spared. Every young person became associated with the gang that came from their area. They would be attacked and that left them with no choice but to be part of the group for protection. They did not only attack each other but caused havoc in the communities.

These gangsters would get into shebeens or in the traditional ceremonies and rob them, provoking people to react. They they slaughtered each other and other people even at funerals.

To attend a funeral of a well-known gangster was high risk in itself. The rivals would make sure that there was no decent send-off. In some cases coffins were opened and they would inflict more wounds to the deceased.

The whole gruesomeness ultimately became too much for some as they went lost their minds.

This carnage had an enormous impact on the communities as the gangs struck fear in every corner. The gangs acted as if they had licence to do as they pleased, robbing, raping and doing anything that would cause pain to another human being.

The class system in the community sustains crime to a certain extent. It alienates the youth from one another between parents who can afford and those who cannot.

The latter, feeling hopeless, become the victims of poverty and devise means of survival which usual means stealing and robbing in the very community they stay in. In this regard the young are wasted and doomed.

Let us learn from what happened in the past and avoid the mistakes of the past before it is too late.

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