The Osizweni community is currently under the national spotlight due to the unprecedented volume and chaos generated by gang violence which had become a way of life for residents—this as thugs persistently and without relent tormented this once peaceful community. But are the gangs days now over with all this increased attention?
Well, it appears the gang violence is no longer restricted to the streets of the township. Instead, it is now spilling into schoolyards. This follows an incident at Xolani High School, where the Osizweni police arrested three young men for being in possession of two pangas and two cane knives. The three men apparently belonged to one of the gangs operating in Osizweni and intended to attack a member of a rival gang, who is a pupil at the school.
In September of this year, the Newcastillian – Online News reported on how the rivalry between child-gangs such as the Last Warning and Juveniles had resulted in the collapse of the typical day to day life within the community. These once children, now gangsters, took lives, robbed and incited mass violence upon the Osizweni community.
One of these heinous acts involved the killing of Siyabonga Vilikazi, who was shot and killed while at Section B, Osizweni.
Colonel Thembeka Mbele, police spokesperson, explains the Provincial Organised Crime Unit has made a breakthrough in the murder, arresting two suspects. The two men, who are 18 and 24 years old, appeared in Madadeni Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 18 November 2020.
As the two men face charges of murder, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula commended the team for the arrest. He said, “We hope these arrests will bring peace and stability in the Osizweni area. More arrests are expected as the team penetrates the Osizweni areas.”
With members of the Provincial Organised Crime Unit now investigating the involvement of youth crimes in Osizweni, as well as Police Minister Bheki Cele and his team focussing on the problem, are gangs in Osizweni facing their final days?
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Author: Quinton Boucher
Edited: Calvin Swemmer