Cape Town - Scared mothers, terrified children, gunfire, and gang hits that cost as little as R1 000. This is the harsh reality of everyday life in Hanover Park.
Now, a new short film sheds light on how this Cape Flats community lives with gang violence and death.
The film, Gatvol, was created by Street Talk and features seven Hanover Park moms who shared their pain of losing loved ones to the relentless gang violence.
The movie was directed by award-winning television reporter, producer and director, Jo Menell, and was shot just over a month ago in partnership with the Hanover Park Women’s Development Forum and Hope Community Development Project.
In it, moms Daphne Croy, Kashiefa Mohammed, Rashieda McDavids, Fowzia Williams, Sadeeka Valentine, Gladys Jones and Marian Valensky speak candidly about living among gangs.
Kashiefa, 53, breaks down as she tells of the day her 17-year-old son, Raffiq, was stabbed by gangsters.
The incident in March led to the arrest of four members of the Laughing Boys gang and the case is currently on the roll at Wynberg Regional Court.
She says her child grew up in Hanover Park but never visited places like the rent office because it is situated in the territory of a rival gang.
“We lived in Laughing Boys territory and so the children who live there, even if they are not gangsters, cannot just walk in another territory,” the mother explains.
“You know, if another gang killed him, I would not be so heartsore, but he was killed by children who grew up with him.
“Since his death I have become a warrior in the fight against crime and I will not stop fighting so I can help save another mother’s child because I know what that pain and grief feel like.”
The film shows that, since August, 35 people have been killed in Hanover Park.
The women discuss how witnesses are threatened, police dockets go missing and how a gang hit costs just R1 000.
Mom Gladys, 65, says she lived a terrible life raising two sons who were part of rival gangs.
“My one son was a Sewe Lewe and the other an American. They used to threaten to kill each other all the time,” she says.
“One day I just got gatvol and walked to the gang bosses and told them I am taking my sons back. They are both alive and have changed their lives, but I participated in the film to tell parents they can take their children back and stand up to the gangsters.”
At the end of the film, the moms plead with gangsters to put down their guns and let children live freely without the fear of gunfire.
Gatvol will be screened at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town on 5 December at 6pm.
It can also be viewed online http://streettalktv.com/episode/gatvol