Gang crossfire 'war zone' as anti-gang Cape grouping resurfaces

Cape Town – About 35 shots were fired in Kensington, Cape Town, on Monday evening as members of People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) held an anti-gang motorcade in the area, community police forum chairperson Mogamat Nordien said. 

“The situation is very volatile. We don’t know who is shooting, but I gave an instruction that no resident should go onto the roads,” Nordien told News24. 

"Kensington has not experienced this type of shooting in many years," he claimed.

Nordien said he is aware of one house damaged by crossfire, but is not aware of any injuries. 

“Residents should stay in their houses for their own safety,” he reiterated. 

Sources with close ties to police told News24 that members of Pagad clashed with alleged gangsters, causing the surge in shootings.

Kensington residents took to Facebook to express their concern after hearing multiple gunshots in the area. One said it sounded like a "war zone".

Western Cape police could not be reached for comment.

On Monday afternoon, on its official Facebook page, Pagad shared a post saying it will be in Kensington.

The post called for an end in all areas of on-going violence, shootings and killings.

“It will only stop if everyone joins together and says enough is enough! Join the motorcade.”

Pagad was formed in the 1990s to combat gangsterism on the Cape Flats. 

In 2003, the BBC reported that the once peaceful organisation deviated toward vigilantism. 

At the time, several Pagad members were awaiting trial on a range of charges including possessing explosives.

In 1996, the murder of Hard Livings gang leader Rashaad Staggie at the hands of Pagad members made national headlines.

His brother Rashied Staggie survives him. 

In 2016 Staggie and three other suspects faced charges of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, as well as suspected stolen property.

Staggie, serving prison time for another crime, was subsequently released on full parole.

In 2003 he was jailed for 15 years for his role in the kidnapping and rape of a teenage girl.

The following year he was sentenced to 13 years in jail for stealing firearms from a police armoury.

The sentences ran concurrently and Staggie served 11 years in prison.

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