Apartheid shackles replaced by chains of gangsterism on Cape ...


Apartheid shackles replaced by chains of gangsterism on Cape Flats

As the gunfire subsides, lockdown gives born-frees their first glimpse of a safer life free from the other ‘epidemic’

Philani Nombembe Tanya Farber and Aron Hyman

Born-frees on the Cape Flats have known a democratic SA, but they’ve also known a life spent in constant fear of gang violence, gunshots and turf wars. For some, the lockdown has been their first glimpse of a quieter and safer life. For older residents, the forced removals during apartheid created the perfect storm for gangsterism as communities were torn apart, and after this, the “promised land” of democracy has been nothing but a fallen dream.

Gangsterism is an epidemic, like the virus

Monique Hansen is 23 and lives in Atlantis, an area notorious for gang violence. She is a youth intern with Gun Free South Africa, and says it has been “really quiet since lockdown”. That’s not to say the guns have gone completely silent: last week a man was killed by an opposing gang, and a little girl was injured on her arm in the crossfire. But, says Hansen, scenes like that normally play out much more regularly...

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