Cape Town - Gangs on the Cape Flats say they do not fear the army and will carry on with their “operations” as normal.
In fact, some gang bosses welcome the idea of soldiers on the Flats, saying fewer innocent people will die now.
Police Minister Bheki Cele last week announced that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would be deployed on the Cape Flats for the next three months to root out gang violence.
But gangsters say they are not afraid of the army.
High-ranking members from several gangs on the Cape Flats spoke to the Daily Voice on condition of anonymity.
A member of the Dixie Boys said: “Die army moet maar kom, my girl, ons kannie nog worry nie. (The army can come my girl, we can't be bothered.)
“You know, people keep calling us (drug) dealers, we’re not dealers but small business owners. Yes, we may be going to be a bietjie swak (with the army here) but ons gat aan.”("We may suffer a bit with the army here, but we will carry on.")
The gangster, in fact, welcomed the army, saying: “Too many innocent people are being killed. It’s right that the army is coming, this will stop all the shooting and make it safer for people to just live in peace.”
The Junky Funky Kidz (JFK) say they’re also unbothered about the army, with one member bragging that they’re “invincible”.
“This won’t touch us. We’re too big and we’ve got factions. We look after our people (community).
“Ja, you get those that kla (complain) but do you think people are going to stand against those who feed them? Nee, my girl,” he says.
The gangster says police corruption plays a major role in the “success of their business”.
“Die boere is klaar so vuil. (The cops are already so corrupt.) Why do you think they never find anything?” he says.
“They do drugs, they suip (drink) and like to borrow money and who gives it to them? All we ask from them is that we are kept aware of what happens.”
He admits some of their members shoot innocent people but says they are being punished under “the law of the nommer”.
“Those that shoot the innocent kry sy dag by ons (will be dealt with by us). We have our laws and we do enforce it even if people think we are barbare (barbarians),” he added.
Members of the G-Unit gang refused to comment about the army, saying: “Die’s kinner k**.” "This is children's sh*t.")
Meanwhile, a leader of the Mongrels gang, whose “biggest sale items” are abalone, tik and mandrax, laughed when asked how the army would affect them.
“We are business people, so whatever happens around us, the business goes on. We will know when they come and how they come and what time they will come. This has always been our way. Nothing will stop us from doing what we do.”
The Americans gang, which deals in illegal firearms and ammunition, dagga, tik, mandrax and sex workers, agrees.
“I saw the arrival of the troops, most of them are in my area,” one leader says.
“I have safe houses and have been able to view the activity of all Law Enforcement officers.
“We do not stop business because things get hot. The army will come and go, but people’s needs will always be there.”
A member of the Vikings gang says their main “revenue” comes from tik, heroin and providing firepower to other gangs.
“We don’t just work on the Cape Flats, our business is international. We will slip through the cracks, we always find a way. We never kill people, that is not what we do,” the man says.
A member of the Hard Livings gang insists their “business” of selling drugs and guns is legitimate and that they do not murder innocents.
“We are business people, man. The army can come and see if they find anything wrong here. We will not run and they will find nothing.
“They will leave and life will go on. We do not take the lives of the innocent.”
A member of the Sexy Boys says: “We don’t do small business, ons maak mass sales (we make sales). I serve soup and bread to all the poor people in different areas every day. They (soldiers) can queue for their portion. We are not afraid, and the army has nothing to fear from us.”