Manenberg gang violence: ‘Our rights have been taken away’

Not being able to get to school because of gang violence is just one of the concerns for Manenberg teachers and pupils.

"This is the worst it's ever been," Manenberg High School principal Thurston Brown said about gang activities in the Cape Town area of Manenberg.

"Our teachers' morale is low … To get to school some of them have to travel through areas where the gang fights happen. Some of them have literally had to duck and dive from the bullets."

Brown has been principal of the school for 12 years.

On Wednesday, the Western Cape education department announced that it decided, in consultation with schools, to close 14 of them in Manenberg because gang violence had put teachers' and pupils' lives at risk.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille also wrote an open letter to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Wednesday, asking him to deploy the army to the area.

'Can you imagine'
Brown said sometimes gang members hijacked the taxis teachers used to get to the school while its passengers were still on board.

"Can you imagine starting your day like that?"

A grade 12 Manenberg High School pupil, Anthony Daniels, said the effects of the gang violence in the area made him and other children "feel like our rights have been taken away".

"This is our community but we can't walk to schools, we can't walk to the library, we can't walk to the shops."

Two nights ago, Daniels said, his neighbour was shot in the mouth by a stray bullet while he was walking past a gang fight. He is in a critical condition in Groote Schuur hospital, he said.

He felt "helpless" in fixing the problem of gangsterism saying: "Gangsters must be locked up".

Community centres
The pupil appealed to government to "give us community centres where children can go to do activities so they don't get involved with gangs".

Daniels also said deploying the army to the area "would probably have an impact".

Brown said pupils battled to concentrate in class because "they hear gunshots and they wonder if maybe one of their relatives has been injured". Pupils also missed out on "chunks" of work because they missed school out of fear of being caught in a gang fight.

Two Metro police officers patrolled the school at certain times of the day, which "brought a measure of stability" to the school but was not enough to curb the problem long-term.

"There is a knee-jerk reaction every time there is a surge of gang violence and everyone jumps in … but nothing is going to change unless all the different government departments sit down and talk about what can be done," he said.

He suggested intensive programmes implemented jointly by social development officials and the education department that worked closely with "problem children" at school, after school, and in their homes.


Workers fight job-creation ‘mess’

Former Ekurhuleni workers argued in court that a programme promising to equip them with skills simply acted as a labour broker for the municipality

Court dissolves local municipality

Landmark judgment paves the way for South Africans to use legal system to hold councils responsible

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Press Releases

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.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.