‘Momentary’ relief from shots

2015-07-14 06:00

Four gangs have brought some temporary relief to Manenberg after agreeing to halt shootings in the area.

The Clever Kids, Hard Livings, Americans and Dixie Boys held peace talks two weeks ago after community activist and Manenberg safety forum chairperson Rugshanda Pascoe called for it.

Although the gangs agreed to the ceasefire, residents say the peace was “momentary” after sporadic shootings occurred in some areas of Manenberg and Heideveld over the weekend.

One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, says even though it is quiet, “it does not mean they have stopped their nonsense”.

“Just over the weekend they slit a guy’s throat in one of the courts again. He was a gangster too. They are progressing to the extreme lately and we as a community are still caught in their grip,” she says.

Another resident, Rugaya Salie, says the few days of peace were appreciated.

“It was so nice not to hear gun shots at any time of the day. Our children could play freely outside,” she says.

Manenberg police spokesperson Lieutenant Ian Bennett says there have been no incidents of gang violence in the area where the truce was called.

“We have only had one incident of domestic violence where a man shot his wife in her face on Saturday 4 July at 23:50. The husband became violent after the pair were drinking alcohol together. He shot her at point blank range and a case of attempted murder was opened for investigation,” Bennett says.

He adds there were two shooting incidents and cases of attempted murder have been filed at the station.

Pascoe says the peace talks were held in Scheldt Walk in Manenberg and the sporadic shootings have been taking place “on the opposite end after Turfhall Road”.

“The fights that are currently ongoing are taking place in an area that is normally quiet and controlled,” Pascoe explains.

She adds there was a shooting on Wednesday evening in which a 13-year-old girl was shot by a stray bullet.

Bennett confirms the incident, saying the shooting occurred in Gamka Park at 22:00.

“The bullet entered through her cheek and exited from her jaw bone. The girl was referred for medical attention and was stabilised. No arrests have yet been made,” he says.

Pascoe says such incidents are a huge concern to the community.

“We want to bring these feuding gangs together and work on a plan to respect the community they live in. Our mandate in the safety forum remains the same and that is to ensure the safety of all residents. If these gangs do not abide by this mandate they are to leave our community. We are asking all authorities to assist us in this regard,” she adds.

Pascoe says although the peace talks took place they still need to get “to the crux of the matter”.

“It all comes down to the disregard for human life. They need to understand they are tormenting our communities. And although we are happy for the peace we also fear that it may be temporary as it is the month of Ramadan and these gangsters want to move freely to visit their families,” she says.

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