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Under siege: How gangs holding communities can be rooted out

Gangsters have for too long been holding communities at ransom. File Image: Sourced

Gangsters have for too long been holding communities at ransom. File Image: Sourced

Published Aug 5, 2022

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Cape Town - The Cape Flats is plagued with a number of gangs, but the latest gang, which has seemed to have grown at a rapid pace in membership over the past few months, has wreaked havoc.

The Six Bobs gang has been around for years but has since reached infamous popularity for holding communities hostage.

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The gang is known to support any gang directly fighting any of their rival gangs, to weaken them.

While they are thriving in the drug industry in some areas, they are yet to hit the “big league” like major gangs on the Cape Flats, such as the Hard Livings or Americans gang.

According to a source speaking to IOL on condition of anonymity, the Six Bobs started small in the Lotus River area, but soon expanded to Pelikan Park, and once the establishment of New Horizons came, spread there.

The gang also expanded into Schaapkraal, from there to Bayview.

“At times, they have agreements with other gangs regarding business. When necessary, the Six Bobs join forces with gangs against rival gangs. For instance, they used to partner with the Junky Funky Kidz (JFK), but now they are fighting.

“Their growth has been rapid, and this has resulted in many shootings in the area, especially the Lotus River area.

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“Their stronghold is in the Phumlani informal settlement, and they have been linked to launching attacks against the Ghettos gang in Hanover Park,” the source explained.

Residents in Lotus River are being imprisoned in their homes as the fear of being robbed or shot became more and more likely.

The latest known murder allegedly carried out by the members of the gang was perpetrated in July.

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Father of five, Bronwan Dick, 38, a vegetable hawker from Mitchells Plain, was shot and left to die on the streets of Pelikan Park.

According to the Daily Voice, Grassy Park Station commander Colonel Dawood Laing confirmed the body was found in Pelikan Park but said as the investigation progressed, they discovered Dick was attacked by the Six Bobs gang.

According to the publication, Laing said, days later, gang members were left flabbergasted when a witness who managed to survive the attack pointed out the culprits.

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Ashley Pillay, Rodney Bruintjies, Jonathan Koljovo, and Byron Simons were arrested and face charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and the possession of a firearm.

The group has since made their court appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

Speaking to IOL, Redaa Ameeroedien from the Schaapkraal Community Forum said with a united community and a working relationship with members of the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement and Metro Police Department, they have managed to root out the Six Bobs.

“We nipped the gang activity in the area in the bud by strengthening our neighbourhood watches and relationship with Law Enforcement and Metro Police.

“Strengthening the community bond with regards to safety and security is most important.

“Law Enforcement has been a big, if not the biggest support, when it comes to our crime prevention strategy in Schaapkraal.

“Our area falls under Philippi police jurisdiction, but they are under-resourced and thus, we urge people to report and log complaints.

“At the end of the day, to prevent these crimes and gangs from taking over, it boils down to the community.

“A community standing together can root out these gangs,” Ameeroedien said.

He emphasised the importance a community played in crime prevention and said the Schaapkraal Community Forum had since started block watches which had seen a positive effect.

“Load shedding has also become a breeding ground for crime, and the block watches have had a major impact in this regard.

“The bond within the community has also strengthened,” Ameeroedien told IOL.

He said they worked closely with communities from surrounding areas and had since built great relationships with residents, neighbourhood watches, and police in the Grassy Park jurisdiction.

“This has resulted in many more successes, but at the end of the day, everything boils down to the community,” he added.

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IOL

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