Last month, 31 people were killed in as many days in Delft, with most of the deaths being youths who were believed to have been forced to join gangs. File picture: Cindy Waxa

Cape Town - Five youngsters have fled their homes and gone into hiding after allegedly being forced to join gangs in Delft.

And in Mitchells Plain community leaders have described a surge of gang violence which left five people dead as a “dark period”.

An urgent meeting between the Mitchells Plain CPF, the cluster police’s top brass and neighbourhood watches has been arranged to address the gangs issue on Tuesday night.

The five youths are believed to have gone into hiding after allegedly being threatened with death if they refused to join the Junior Cisko Yakkies (JCY) and Barbarians gangs in Delft.

Four of the youngsters have allegedly been shot and wounded for refusing to join gangs, prompting their families to send their children to the Eastern Cape.

One mother has no idea where her son is hiding.

Last month, 31 people were killed in as many days in Delft, with most of the deaths being youths who were believed to have been forced to join gangs.

One of the shootings was believed to have been a case of mistaken identity.

Police have since intensified their crime-prevention and tracing operations in an effort to ensure safety.

A parent, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said her 20-year-old son was shot four times for refusing to join the Barbarians gang.

She sent him to the Eastern Cape after he was discharged from the ICU on Friday.

“I am fearing for his life. I don’t know when they might come again. The sad part is my child was working to help me support the family. Now he is forced to give up his job,” she said.

In Mitchells Plain, Lentegeur High pupils Nazeer Kiewit and Diego Philander were murdered in Madeliefie Road during a drive-by shooting on Sunday.

Lentegeur CPF member Cassiem Gamiet said residents were living in fear as the gunmen were still at large.

Community leaders said a man was killed in Beacon Valley and two in Rocklands in separate incidents believed to be gang-related at the weekend.

“The area was very quiet for a while before this incident. Residents need to take a stand and unite against crime because these are our kids, brothers and family members.

“We suspect they did not know who they were looking for because the two teenagers were not part of the gang. This was simply a case of mistaken identity,” said Gamiet.

Mitchells Plain CPF cluster chairperson Hanif Loonat urged the community to assist the police, saying their help was key to making arrests.

A series of shootings has also been reported in Lavender Hill in the past week. Four people were shot and killed and one injured in separate incidents.

Resident Ramano Noble was shot and killed near Ashley Court by unidentified gunmen.

The 27-year-old’s neighbour, Elton van Beulen, and two others were shot and wounded, and rushed to hospital.

The next day, Logan van Graan, of Drury Court, was shot in her left upper arm while playing in her front yard.

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said a number of policing precincts have been identified and interventions have been put in place to address gang violence. He said police were also conducting tracing operations to track down wanted suspects.

“In addition, station personnel conduct patrols and operations on a daily basis and these are guided by crime pattern analysis. We have provincial stabilisation teams to deal with flare-ups. The stabilisation teams comprise members from specialised units such as Public Order Police, Flying Squad, Operation Combat members and the National Intervention Unit,” he said.

On Sunday, in another incident believed to be gang-related, police found the mutilated body of an 18-year-old girl with multiple stab wounds on an open field in Valhalla Park.

Cape Times