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
Between December and May the gang unit arrested the following gang members:
During raids in Hanover Park and Elsies River the unit arrested 108 suspects for: