Free State government vows to crack down on gangs after threat

2016-09-23 10:01
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Bloemfontein – The Free State government will not allow a threat, allegedly from a gang, to disrupt schooling in Mangaung, Acting Premier Sam Mashinini has said.

"We want all learners, educators, parents and members of the community to rest assured that all our law enforcement agencies are on high alert and will make sure that schooling takes place as scheduled in all our schools," Mashinini said on Thursday.

He was responding to threats contained in a badly-written message, allegedly by a gang calling itself Maroma, which was being circulated on social media. It had been doing the rounds for the past week.

"Mangaung tsunami of blood is coming," it begins.

"On de 23 to 27 of September de dengerous group dat takes de life's of de ppl deir going to mach from the date above with ppls blood PLS ITS TRUE. Maroma le btk. [Mangaung a tsunami of blood is coming. On September 23 and 27, the dangerous group that takes the lives of people is going to march with people's blood. Please it's true]."

'Held to ransom by young criminals'

According to the gang, local residents killed their "boss", a tavern owner, on September 27 last year.

"Now we going to kill everyone including de btks so pls community be awear from [Now we are going to kill everyone including the btk’s, so please community be aware]," it read.

BTK (born to kill) is the name of another local gang.

Similar messages did the rounds in the area around the same time last year. Police MEC Butana Komphela said at the time that the Mangaung township and province would not be "held to ransom by young criminals".

Three gangs, BTK, Triple Six (666) and Maroma were involved in territorial clashes.

On September 18 last year a Grade 11 pupil was stabbed to death at a school, allegedly by a Maroma gang member. Three people were arrested. On September 23, residents took to the streets and confronted the gang members after messages with threats of violence began circulating.

"Young men wielding guns and knives were allegedly seen vandalising property and attacking school learners in Petunia, Kagisho, Ikaelelo, Marang, Gonyane," Komphela said following the incident a year ago.

One alleged gang member was attacked in Heidedal and a tavern owner allegedly linked to Maroma was killed in Phase 4, Bloemfontein.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  gang violence  |  education

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