Last week, community members were shocked to learn of a stabbing of three learners at a local school. The incident, which occurred at the Lentegeur Secondary School in Mitchell’s Plain, involved three learners who threatened to begin a new gang, after which a forth leaner retaliated. Following the ordeal, an image of a young male was shared on the Mitchell’s Plain Gang Watch Facebook page, alleging that a young boy was shot and that the incident is linked to the stabbing at the school. But the Lentegeur Community Police Forum (CPF) confirms that the incidents’ are not related.
Chairperson of Lentegeur CPF, Mark Brookes, explains that With regards to the image that is doing the rounds on social media, there appears to be no link between the Lentegeur incident and the post.
He further added that the victims in the Lentegeur incident are refusing to lay criminal charges and, therefore, no criminal case is underway by the South African Police Service.
“Those three youngest that were assaulted wanted to start a new gang or grouping and there was retaliation from a youngster; the police were on the scene and they reacted, but, unfortunately if a victim does not want to lay charges, it is out of the hands of the police,” he noted.
He adds that law enforcement has been increasing school patrols and that a meeting between the station commander of Lenteguer police station and the school authorities with regards to the situation has taken place.
In light of assertions that associate gang activity with poverty, Brooke states that the joining of a gang is an individual choice and encourages individuals to take advantage of resources available to them.
“Many school leavers that are at home are now trying to get into the job market, I would ask them to attend short courses if they could not make it to a tertiary institutions,” Brookes adds.
While Lentegeur is synonymous with criminal activity, Brookes asserts that the recent incident is an unusual occurrence since in recent years the level of crime has vastly decreased.
“Ongoing gang violence has been snubbed and the people are much safer and they came out in droves where they started walking hubs and neighbourhood watches…which has had an impact on the crime situation,” he continued.