Resurrection of Pagad spreads unease

Some desperate residents of Lavender Hill have welcomed the renewed presence of the controversial movement, People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad), believing that it could rid the area of gangsters.

But community sceptics told the Mail & Guardian they feared Pagad could inflame an already volatile situation. Albert Fritz, the Western Cape minister of community safety, said he initially felt happy about accommodating Pagad in discussions about matters troubling communities on the Cape Flats. “But then I heard Pagad held an illegal march in Mannenberg recently, which we cannot allow,” he said. “And I heard a disturbing story that a pipe-bomb had been thrown but failed to go off. I will investigate these allegations.”

Osman Sahid, a Pagad executive committee member, said there was an incorrect perception that Pagad had “been sleeping” for a few years. Most of its members who were imprisoned after the sabotage campaign of the 1990s had been released and there were now only about nine members still inside, he said. “Many of our brothers were arrested years ago.

We put all our energies into trying to look after our people and held smaller meetings. But the suggestion that we died out has spiralled completely out of control,” he said. “People are again fed up and they have lost complete faith in the police.” A recent meeting in Lavender Hill, attended by Fritz and the police, drew close to 1 000 people, said Sahid.

According to newspaper reports, residents reportedly shouted down the police, clapping and shouting: “We want Pagad, we want Pagad.” Eleven years ago former justice minister Penuell Maduna described a bomb blast outside a Cape Town mosque as part of a terror campaign.

The bomb, strapped to a tree between the mosque and a community centre where a political rally was being held in Gatesville, exploded and injured seven people. The casualties included a policewoman and a young girl.

The Gatesville explosion was the 20th in South Africa’s top tourist destination in just over two years. At the time, the then-minister of safety and security, Steve Tshwete, said the terror campaign was being waged by Muslim extremists against the state.

The government blamed the blasts, and the assassination of prominent anti-terror judge Piet Theron in the driveway of his home, on Pagad, which they described as a “Muslim vigilante group”. Pagad rejected the charges, but many of its members were arrested and convicted of firearms or explosives offences.


‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide

We need to ask awkward questions about our schools

Ignore the language used in brochures and on open days and be vigilant about the details

Study unpacks the ‘hidden racism’ at Stellenbosch

Students say they feel unseen and unheard at the university because of their skin colour

Ramaphosa enters the fray in fight between Gordhan and Mkhwebane

The president said his court case is “unfortunate” and a “measure of last resort”

Press Releases

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.