Understanding gangs

Date: May 23, 2017

The Forum@8 puts the spotlight on gangs and how they continue to terrorize communities across the country.

Gang-related violence appears to be on the rise in South African communities. According to a study released in 2013 by Mexican NGO Citizens' Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, South African cities were among the top 50 most violent urban areas on the planet. 

A 2016 report by the IgarapĂ© Institute in Brazil concurred with this report. Its results showed that Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City are among the 50 most violent cities in the world. 

The high murder rate in these cities is linked to gang-related activities.

#AMLive Anchor Sakina Kamwendo speaks to former gang member, 31 year old Sergil January from Retreat in Cape Town. January who had his first gang tattoo at age 14 says he lost his eyesight in a gang fight at the age of 19. Like many in his community, January says he dropped out of school at Grade 9 joined a gang because he was looking for protection and wanted to belong- something he said he didn't have as he did NOT have a father. 

Dr Kelly Gillespie, an Anthropologist from the University of the Witwatersrand says gangs in South Africa dates back to the time of apartheid where the white nationalist party wanted violence to prevail in the black and coloured townships. 

LISTEN to full discussion 


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