How Cape Flats youngsters see violence as the only way to heal

2017-03-15 18:14
Different organisations and individuals attend a SAHRC seminar in Uitsig on 'Violence on the Cape Flats'. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Different organisations and individuals attend a SAHRC seminar in Uitsig on 'Violence on the Cape Flats'. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - A Grade 1 pupil is waiting to be old enough to date the gangster that killed her "mommy" so she can kill him with poison.

A 17-year-old in juvenile prison dreams not of rushing to his mother when he gets out, but of killing someone first to make things right.

These true accounts of some youngsters on the Cape Flats reflect how violence was often seen as the only way to resolve problems, crime and justice system officials said on Wednesday.

They were speaking during a South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) seminar in Uitsig on Violence on the Cape Flats.

"Victims become perpetrators and perpetrators become victims," said Valdi Van Reenen-Le Roux, of The Trauma Centre.

Revenge plan

People on the Cape Flats were not dealing with post-trauma, "a Western concept", but a cycle of trauma that continued over generations.

"Today I am raped, tomorrow I am robbed, and the next day I am raped again. Mothers are depressed because their children have died. They can't go to work."

She revealed how a 5-year-old girl told her about a revenge plan, during a debriefing of a group of Grade 1 and Grade 2 pupils.

"She said I am just waiting to be old enough for a gangster. Then I am going to be his girlfriend. Then I am going to get rat poison and slowly poison him because he killed my mommy. I have no-one. I am going to kill him."

In another case, she spoke of a well-known Manenberg gangster who revealed during counselling how he was born into a family of gangsters, going back a few generations.

"He was 5 years old when he was beaten by gangsters. He was 13 years old when he witnessed the first murder of a loved one and realised he cannot depend on anybody to bring him justice," she said.

He decided to join a gang because he wanted revenge, even though he did not kill the person who killed his loved one.

'Discipline is violence'

Western Cape regional correctional services commissioner, Delekile Klaas, said most of their prisoners were between 18 and 35 years old. They were supposed to be in school, playing sport, going to university and working.

Instead they joined gangs, went to prison and "graduated" to prison gangs.

"One common trend is that the solution to any dispute is violence. The only form of discipline is violence."

He spoke of the youngster at Pollsmoor juvenile section. When asked about his release, he said he would have to kill someone before he could leave a gang and return home.

"It means that if he goes and kills someone, he is coming back to serve life."

Jacqueline Hoorn, of the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders, said it was challenging to deal with these cases.

"You often find out that when you step in, it is not enough because hurt and pain has gone so deep. That repair work will take much longer."

The speakers said solutions required communities to take responsibility for their children, and for government to provide the support needed for healthy, economically active families.

Read more on:    sahrc  |  cape town  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

/News
 

Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog

 
 

Paws

Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.