South Africans should think carefully before they cast their ballots on May 7, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu warned. File picture: Ashwini Bhatia

Johannesburg -

The number of children falling prey to gang-affiliated predators in the Western Cape was an abomination after 20 years of democracy, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said on Tuesday.

“As our politicians vie with each other to tell 'good stories' about themselves ahead of general elections in May, the reality of life for many families across the Cape Flats is a recurring nightmare,” Tutu said in a statement.

“On Friday night in Kewtown, 59-year-old Anne Marks and 18-year-old Ebrahim Daniels died following a shoot-out between rival gangs.”

He said gang violence has claimed more than 30 lives this year.

“It tears deep gashes in our social fabric every day, disrupting the learning of our children, clogging health facilities, fuelling drug addiction and crime across the region,” Tutu said.

It also added immeasurably to the struggles of working class and unemployed parents to build better lives for their families.

He said government leaders must stop pointing fingers at each other and use the resources they have to deliver an environment in which poor citizens had the opportunity to improve themselves. - Sapa