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Stop shooting for sake of children's future, Cape Town community begs gangs

04 December 2021 - 10:10
Warring gangs in Elsies River, Cape Town, are driving businesses out of the community.
Warring gangs in Elsies River, Cape Town, are driving businesses out of the community.
Image: 123RF

A distressed Cape Town community is appealing to warring gangs for a ceasefire after three children were shot and injured on their way to school on Friday.

The Elsies River community policing forum joined religious groups in calling for peace and an end to the gang wars ravaging the community.

In a statement, the forum said three “children we shot and injured in Avonwood while on their way to school”.

“Classes at the Inspire Youth Academy had to be suspended  because of ongoing gang violence and almost daily shooting in De Range,” the statement said.

“The Elsies River community policing forum is appealing to the warring parties to declare a ceasefire for the coming holidays. The senseless violence is ruining young people’s opportunity to a better life.

“So many service providers want to offer valuable courses, but crime is denying our youth access opportunities.”

According to the forum, Elsies River community leaders are “prepared to facilitate talks between the leaders of the various groups to ensure peace”.

It added: “We do not want our kids further traumatised during the upcoming school holidays.

“Children are already suffering from the economic repercussions of Covid-19 and the high food prices, with many not having decent meals and regularly going to sleep hungry.

“The trauma of continuous violence and difficult circumstances at home is resulting in depression and anxiety among children.

“The warring parties must realise that the damage they cause within communities by their actions leaves deep scars, many times physically but more so psychologically.”

The violence is also driving businesses out of the community.

“Many businesses are closing and our local mall at Avonwood Square has less than 50% occupancy,” the policing forum said.  

“So many lives have been lost in gang violence over the past few years, but still there is no end in sight to this senseless war. Police are often overwhelmed while many of the perpetrators continue to roam the streets despite being sent to trial.

“The Elsies River community policing forum as a collective leadership representing the  community demands an end to this senseless violence. We are in the midst of the 16 days of activism against violence [campaign] involving women and children but all these campaigns and slogans mean nothing  if children are still being harmed.”

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