Cape Town – The community of Manenberg have been crippled by fears as gangsters continue to hold the area hostage during its bloody warfare.
A struggle for power has come under way between gangs in the area and this has led to smaller gangs seizing an opportunity to hit where it hurts.
Gunfire has been ringing out daily in the area with images and videos widely circulating on social media platforms as gangs play cowboys and crooks.
The struggle for power in the Hard Livings (HL) gang has been under way since one of the gangs most prominent leaders, Rashied Staggie was gunned down in Salt River in December 2019.
The struggle for power had been subtle, however, the latest spate of murders has now seen this power struggle being met with warfare.
Currently, there is an ongoing war between the HLs and Clever Kidz gang.
The recent flare up of gang violence in the area comes after the man alleged to have taken over the reigns from Staggie, ‘Jonty’ was shot while sitting in a black Audi in Pecos Walk.
The alleged gang leader was rushed to hospital after sustaining gunshot wounds to his chest, leg and arm.
Another person was also injured during the shooting.
The incident occurred last week.
Three suspects were seen fleeing the area on foot.
At the time, provincial police spokesperson, Captain Frederick van Wyk confirmed the shooting incident and said no arrests were made.
According to a source, the gang war is set to ‘get worse’.
“This is not an ordinary shooting. While the HLs may have had or have problems they are still the dominating gang.
“The shooting of Jonty has only sparked outrage because who would be so stupid and brazen to shoot him?
“Whoever they are, they have signed their death certificates and dug their graves already,” the source told IOL.
Residents in the area have since been confined to their houses as they fear getting hurt in the crossfire.
In the latest incident, the gang war against the Clever Kidz and HLs claimed five victims on Monday.
Just after 6am, commuters standing at a bus stop in Duinefontein Road near Nyanga Junction became victims after a gunman opened fire on the crowd.
Police said the incident resulted in two women, aged 50 and 52, and three men, aged between 35 and 41, being shot and injured.
“A case of attempted murder has been opened for investigation. The suspect is unknown at this stage and fled the scene on foot. The injured victims were all transported to nearby hospitals for medical treatment”.
The shooting has sparked the outcry from the Western Cape MEC for community safety and police oversight, Reagan Allen calling for swift arrests.
“I want these perpetrators found and arrested speedily. This terror has no place in our society and must be brought to an end.
“The flare ups of gang related shootings in Manenberg are of deep concern and must also immediately stop.
“I call on SAPS to leave no stone unturned and to urgently track these heartless criminals down. Every bit of crime intelligence and investigation ability should be employed to find and arrest these criminals.
“My plea to the community is to assist SAPS and law enforcement by providing any leads they might have so that these perpetrators can be arrested. We must ensure they face the full might of the law.
“The days of gangsters running around like they own the place and terrorising our residents are over,” Allen said.
However, residents have no hope in government or police officials in what the call a ‘spin for publicity’.
A resident, who spoke on anonymity for fear of being victimised, said she has been in the area for over 30 years and nothing changes, it only worsens.
The grandmother of four commended officers stationed at Manenberg police station but stated they were ‘simply outnumbered’ by the gangs.
“As residents, we are continuously on our last nerve. You never know if you can be struck by a stray bullet or not. Just look at that boy who was cutting his hair in the kitchen and got shot. Just like that.
“It breaks my heart to see my grandchildren becoming accustomed to gang violence and slang.
“This is wrong on every level for a child of two years old to know what to do when shots are ringing out. Then, the MECs, Premiers and Ministers want to ‘call for action’? It’s all publicity stunts.
“I wonder if they can come spend less than an hour in this area, without bodyguards and see how we are being caged in. Perhaps then something will truly be done and not statements and press interviews,” the angry woman said.
The only thing this grandmother wishes for now, is a day of peace.