A 14-year-old girl, initiated into the G-Unit gang last year, was the youngest gang member caught as elite units swept into Elsies River.
The smell of dagga and molasses hung heavy in the air as Mr Pink, Mr Blue and Mr Black of the metro police’s Gang Unit entered the flat and found the girl and eight men smoking a hookah pipe on Wednesday night.
The undercover unit and their Reservoir Dog code names are part of a new initiative to smash the gangs on the Cape Flats.
Later, while being debriefed, the girl admitted to having handled firearms, although, she said, she has never shot anyone. She said she had sworn allegiance to the G-Unit gang.
The girl was meant to write an exam on Thursday, but was instead waiting to appear in court.
The City of Cape Town’s specialised gang, drug and K9 units conducted raids, stop-and-searches and executed search warrants in Elsies River, Lavender Hill, Hanover Park and Steenberg.
In Hanover Park, they raided a complex of informal structures attached to a house.
They forced about 10 people to the ground while they searched them. Pitbulls snarled and barked at the officers, their chains clanking on the concrete floor.
In one of the structures, a man and woman were forced to the ground while the officers searched them and their room. An officer found a plastic bag filled with 9mm bullets.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the property, a bag with 15 packets of tik was found.
One of the suspects alerted the officers to a room in the back.
An officer broke through the door with bolt-cutters only to be met by Bullet, a barking pitbull.
An officer took out pepper spray to subdue Bullet, but before he could spray him, another officer took over and calmly escorted the dog out.
The three units moved on, but by the time they arrived at their second target, all that was left was the smell of mandrax and dagga. The suspects had fled the scene.
Feeling that their presence was known in Hanover Park, the units headed south towards Lavender Hill and Steenberg.
The convoy, driving with their lights off, sped through the side-streets making their way to a block of flats.
As they rounded the corner, youths began to flee on bicycles and on foot. Most were caught but no weapons or drugs were found on them.
The metro police were also out the night before and by the end of the two raids they had arrested 15 suspects for drug-related offences and possession of unlicensed firearms.
“We’re making our presence felt. The gangs know that we’re here,” said JP Smith, mayco member for Safety and Security.
Caught and cuffed
* Three men arrested for possession of 15 packets of tik and 42 live rounds of 9mm ammunition in Hanover Park.
* A 14-year-old girl arrested for dagga possession in Elsies River.
* Five suspects aged between 21 and 29 arrested for illegal trading and hawking, housebreaking and possession of illegal narcotics in Macassar.
* Two suspects arrested in Macassar on charges of violating a protection order.
* Woman arrested for possession of 11 packets of tik at Keppel Court in Grassy Park.
* Man arrested on Sixth Avenue, Grassy Park, with seven packets of tik.
* Man arrested in Seventh Avenue for possession of dagga and one packet of tik.
* Man arrested with 21 dagga stoppe in Rietbok Street, Lotus River.
* Man found with a plastic bank bag of dagga in Third Avenue, Grassy Park.
* Man arrested in Victoria Road, Grassy Park, for possession of an unlicensed 9mm Taurus Z88 with 14 rounds of ammunition and a magazine.
Between December and May the gang unit arrested the following gang members:
* Americans: 12
* Junky Funky Kids 7
* Laughing Boyz: 1
* Ghetto Kids: 2
* Prison numbers gang (26s): 2
* Derwent Kids: 1
* Fancy Boys: 1
During raids in Hanover Park and Elsies River the unit arrested 108 suspects for:
* Drugs: 94
* Murder: 1
* Attempted murder: 2
* Illegal firearms: 2
* Other offences such as riotous behaviour and intimidation: 9