“Violence begets violence”; in other words, violent behaviour leads to more violent behaviour. This age-old adage has come to life in Osiziweni, NKZN, with child based gangs taking to the streets, all being in the throws of a gang war. This while the rest of the community tries to go about their day to day lives.
Along with claims from concerned people, video footage has surfaced, showing large groups of youngsters patrolling the streets, all being armed and by all appearances, on a mission to establish an influential and unrivalled claim over the various territories.
With rumours circulating around the increase in gang war activity, alongside the video footage reflecting the seriousness of the situation, The Newcastillian – Online News spoke with the Osizweni Police to establish exactly what is going on in the area and what steps are being taken to safeguard the community.
Captain Sipho Nkosi, the Osizweni SAPS spokesperson, elaborates on the current status, “There are a group of youngsters operating in the area, under the name Last Warning.
While they are the leading group, they have broken up into other groups, namely the Full Force and Peace Makers.”
With these two new subsidiary groups seeping into the community, Captain Nkosi explains this is where the trouble begins.
He stresses these groups target community members, robbing them, breaking into their homes and stealing an array of items. ” They then sell these items, to generate an income for druglords in the Newcastle area and surrounding communities.” As these young people fuel their drug habits through crime, Captain Nkosi emphasises that this is not enough for these ‘gangs’.
Adding, the gangs’ intensity and goal-orientated mindset are seeing them “Fighting for the kingship of their areas. It has reached the point that they target rival groups family members when they go to town. They will rob the family member, and this will result in retaliation.”
Furthermore, the rivalry is escalating with two people having been killed in skirmishes.
The war now beginning to spew onto the street, Taking place on 17 September 2020; a man was shot in broad daylight. According to Captain Nkosi, the murder took place at 3 pm in the Blaauwbosch area and “All four suspects are linked to the groups operating in the Osizweni area.”
The second murder took place that same night, with a man being stabbed and set alight. “He was found alive but died at the clinic shortly afterwards. No arrests have yet been made in this incident, but the police are following up on leads,” Captain Nkosi states.
To bring about a sense of order, Captain Nkosi says the SAPS are working day and night, targeting group members, druglords and have gone as far as to call for a community meeting.
He explains, there is yet another group, dubbed the Juveniles. This group consists of children who work closely with older gang members. “We called for a meeting with parents, but no one attended. We will now be taking further steps,” assures Captain Nkosi.
As the SAPS finds themselves trying to establish law and order within Osizweni, the Osizweni community now faces the daunting challenge of adjusting to the turf wars which are ravaging the township, and these wars are only in their infancy stages.
What are your thoughts on the situation? What steps do you feel the SAPS should do to combat the growing concern?
Share your views with us in the comment section below.
Author: Quinton Boucher
Edited: Calvin Swemmer