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CApe Town - Running gang battles in the Bishop Lavis area claimed another life on Monday morning.
A 22-year-old man, allegedly a member of the Rude Boys, was shot multiple times and died where he fell in Thomas Street, Valhalla Park, at about 2am.
Bystanders believed they knew who the victim was but police had not released his name by mid-morning. When investigators at the scene turned over the body, a woman in the crowd that had gathered started weeping uncontrollably.
Faisal Abrams, cluster chairman for the Community Policing Forum in the area, said that such shootings had escalated in frequency lately.
A younger generation of gangsters was coming through the ranks and breaking with the strict “rules” and “discipline” which regulated gang assassinations in the past, as they vied for power and control of drug-dealing turf.
This meant that rival members of the same gangs were increasingly likely to resort to violence to settle differences, Abrams said.
“These shootings are sporadic, unscrupulous and virtually happening on a daily basis.
“We are seeing the emergence of a new breed of gangster. People with no affiliation to the gangs fear for their lives, because there are many instances of people getting caught in the crossfire.
“I have friends contacting me, telling me that they no longer sleep on beds. They sleep on mattresses on the floor to avoid stray bullets.”
Abrams also accused the police of not having the “political will” to deal with the problem, adding that communities were being “left to their own devices”.
At the time of publication, police spokesmen had not been able to source further details of the latest shooting. It was unclear whether an arrest had been made.