Cape Town on high alert for 'retaliation' after gang boss shootings

14 December 2019 - 09:21
Police examine the car in which Rashied Staggie was killed on December 13 2019.
Image: Sunday Times/Esa Alexander Police examine the car in which Rashied Staggie was killed on December 13 2019.

Cape Town is bracing for gang violence flare-ups this weekend after the killing of Hard Livings boss Rashied Staggie outside his home on Friday.

City of Cape Town councillor JP Smith, responsible for safety and security, said that law enforcement teams were ready to shield communities in gang-ridden areas. Smith said the city would not leave anything to chance.

“It seems like a score is being settled,” he said.

“We have already alerted all our staff. We have brought whatever resources we have for this weekend to ensure that we are as able to respond to any retaliatory violence as possible so that no innocent people get hurt.

“It is hard to keep people who are determined to hurt each other, or are busy with something criminal and illegal, apart. But we are trying to shield innocent people from harm.”

Donald Pinnock, an associate at the centre for criminology at the University of Cape Town, shared Smith’s sentiments.

“It is likely to kick off some nasty stuff. I would be surprised if it doesn’t,” said Pinnock.

“Crime definitely goes up this time of the year because there are more opportunities. I don’t know how that relates to gangs. I know that two years ago there was a massive gang war just before Christmas. It had nothing to do with the end of the year, it was to do with contractors paying protection money or not paying protection money. That became a huge flare-up and the Hard Livings were involved in that. I don’t know if it has got anything to do with the end of the year but everyone goes nuts at the end of the year.”

Sources, who declined to be named, said the killings could be related to drug-turf struggles. They said Christmas was a lucrative period for drug dealers.

“The other thing is that kids are not at school during this time and the streets are full of people,” said Pinnock.

“I don’t think something like the Staggie hit has got something to do with the time of the year. It does look like it is an attack on the Hard Livings and who would that be? Is it the Americans? Is it the Sexy Boys or is it an internal power struggle? I don’t know.”

Staggie's shooting, in London Road, came hours after Hard Livings leader Ballie Tips was killed with two shots to the head in Westridge, Mitchells Plain.

In a statement after Staggie’s death, police said: “Woodstock police have reinforced deployment in an around the Salt River area.”