Gang hot-spot residents speak out: ‘The army will only traumatise us’

Gang hot-spot residents speak out: ‘The army will only traumatise us’

- While many are commending the decision for members of the South African National Defense Force to be stationed in Cape Town gang hot-spots, many residents seem worried about the outcome

- Residents of these areas have come forward to express their worries about living in a militarised area, albeit temporary

- Some have expressed that part of the problem is that gang members do not even fear the army

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South African Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, announced earlier this month that South African National Defense Force (SANDF) troops would be stationed in gang hot-spot areas in and around Cape Town for three months, in an attempt to curb the growing number of homicides.

While some are excited at the prospect of gaining some control on gang violence in the area, some residents are feeling nervous about having SANDF around.

A concerned mother, who lives with her two sons in one of the gang hot-spot areas where SANDF has been deployed, expressed her worries regarding the military presence in her neighbourhood.

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“The army will only traumatise us, and especially the children,” she told the media.

The mother went on to explain that one of the problems the community is facing is the fact that the gangs in the area do not fear the police or the army, IOL reported.

The presence of SANDF troops in the neighbourhood also may contribute to the inability of residents to go about their daily lives.

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“We understand that the situation is out of control, but the gangs around here don’t even fear the army. We are now in a situation where we feel as if we are held captive by both the army and the gangs, because the army is just lurking around in corners while the gangs do the same and we have to remain indoors,” the mother said. gathered that some of the areas where the SANDF have been deployed for 3 months are Khayelitsha, Manenberg, Delft, Bishop Lavis, Nyanga, Mitchells Plain, Elsies River, Mfuleni, Kraaifontein and Philippi.

Since last year, according to IOL, more than 2000 people have lost their lives in gang-related situations in 10 of the top gang hot-spots in Cape Town.

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