WATCH | Cape Flats residents live in fear as bullets fly over turf, drugs and gang leaders

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  • The ongoing gang violence in Hanover Park has residents fearing for their lives.
  • Members of the Ghettos gang are locked in a leadership battle.
  • Locals say the gangs are shooting without regard for human life. 

Hanover Park residents are living in fear for their lives as heavy gunfire continues to rock the gang-ridden Cape Flats suburb.

The ongoing gang warfare in Hanover Park is said to be linked to infighting in the Ghettos gang, over who will be its next leader.

Last week, a Hanover Park man was shot dead, and the rest of his family – a woman and a one-year-old baby – were wounded in a suspected gang-related shooting in nearby Lansdowne.

It's understood that the slain victim was next in line to take over as the gang leader of the Ghettos.

Hanover Park community policing forum chairperson Ebrahim Abrahams told News24 the man killed was the son of the former gang leader "Sheikh" who was gunned down in Hanover Park last year. 

READ | 'Mommy Mommy!': Woman hides under her bed as gunshots ring out in Manenberg gang war

"The fight right now [is] over leadership, and there is a new leader set to take over the gang. The gang members are fighting among themselves for leadership, coupled with the ongoing drugs and turf war," said Abrahams.

Abrahams said over the weekend alone, more than 100 gunshots were fired in the neighbouring flats of Donegal, Eric, and Etosha courts. 

"On Sunday, there were three people killed in the area. The shootings have been ongoing since the death of the man last week. These shootings can last up to 30 minutes if not longer per day; it's crazy what's happening here," he added.

READ | Undertakers forced to jump into graves as gun salute rings out for burial of gangsters

Abrahams said they had been kept out of the loop by police as to what's happening with these gangs, and therefore, they are unable to intervene. 

"The police haven't spoken to us yet; we cannot get involved in the gang fights as we can be branded as vigilantes fueling these fights. So, because the police aren't recognising us, we as the CPF are rather staying put. We wanted to get the shooters together and ask them to stop the shooting, but because of the mass murders within the community, it's not going to be easy to have these discussions," he added. 

Residents speaking under the condition of anonymity told News24, said as soon as the word spread that the next in line for the leadership was gunned down last week, they knew blood would flow.

READ | Shouting, swearing, then gunshots: Gangs wreak havoc on Cape Flats as fights over turf intensify

"These gang members are shooting at their own members, and they don't care. We were standing and watching this shooting from our windows in the courts. The people here are scared; we don't know when a bullet will come flying through our homes," one resident said. 

Another local said she was busy taking off her washing outside on Saturday when she saw a gang member running past her with two guns emerging from his pants. 

Police officers pictured in Mitchells Plain.

"He ran so fast, right past me but turned around and said 'auntie moet huis toe gaan' [aunty must go home]. I left some of my washing on the line and ran up the stairs. When I went to fetch the washing later, there were bullet holes in some of the clothes," she said. 

The city's mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith said that the city's enforcement agencies do work supporting SAPS, as has been indicated numerous times before. 

"Units like the Metro Police Gang and Drug Task Team and Tactical Response Unit, as well as officers attached to LEAP are conducting patrols in the Hanover Park area to increase visible policing efforts in support of SAPS," said Smith. 

But a resident from Erica court, known as "Big G" rubbished these claims saying what was more disturbing was the fact that there were hardly any police vans in the area when the shooting started. 

"These are youngster's shootings, we are seeing more young men joining gangs, more guns and drugs are being brought into the area, but police are too scared to come patrol here, they come to the scene two if not three hours later," he said. 

He added that residents are taking risks by being outside, walking in the streets and sitting on staircases filming the incidents.

"These are teenagers risking their lives by taking these videos while the shooting happens. This is not a joke, we are living in horrible times here in the Cape Flats, but these kids want to show their friends what's happening in the 'hood. The parents must educate their children about the dangers of going outside when these shootings are happening," he said. 

"This is a real-life war zone we are living in," another resident stated.  

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 16: Capetonians fro
Residents of the Cape Flats march in Belhar on Youth Day in 2021 in support of peace to put an end to gang violence.

Faiez Jacobs, an MP for the greater Athlone area said he has been hard at work with the local NPOs in the area and faith-based organisations to restore calm.

"An eye for an eye will make us all blind. The ongoing gang violence in the area is of great concern. Right now, it's all about turf and leadership," he added. 

Jacobs took to social media, claiming that 12 people had been shot and killed in 13 days, however police could not confirm the claim.

Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said, according to their crime reports, a 22-year-old man was shot and wounded on Sunday afternoon around 14:00 in Rywood Walk Hanover Park by an unknown suspect who is yet to be arrested. 

"The circumstances of the attempted murder are under investigation," said Traut.

Anyone with any information about this incident can contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

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