Ramaphosa's energy plan Webinar banner

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Cape of Fear: ‘Nobody dares to stand by a window when...

Maverick Citizen

MAVERICK CITIZEN GANGS

Cape of Fear: ‘Nobody dares to stand by a window when gangs are involved in a shoot-out’

Noel Small is worried about his 18-year-old matriculant son Nolan, who was arrested last year in Clarke Estate, Cape Town, while he was walking with gang members. (Photo: Vincent Cruywagen)

Inhabitants of the gang-ravaged area of Clarkes Estate in Elsies River, Cape Town, who walk to church, to school or the shops do so at their peril. The decision to go outside can be fatal.

Life has become increasingly dangerous in Cape Town’s gang-ravaged areas like Manenberg, Belhar, Hanover Park, Elsies River, Heideveld, Lavender Hill, Scottsdene, Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha. Shoot-outs between rival gangs and bullet-riddled bodies have become part of life.

“This is how we live in Clarkes Estate. It is a daily occurrence and nobody knows when the next shots will be fired. Criminals treat us with disrespect,” resident Leanne Pienaar said.

She has recent, first-hand experience. She had just finished hanging out her washing when shots were fired and she had to run for cover.

Maverick Citizen spent hours one Saturday with residents in Clarkes Estate to get a sense of what a normal day is like. Shortly before our arrival, several shots were fired between rival gangs, which sent panic-stricken residents grabbing their children and running for cover.

Reliving that moment, Pienaar said, “I [had] just finished hanging out the washing and walked towards the stairs leading to my home. As I took the first step I just heard shots going off. My heart immediately went into overdrive as if it wanted to jump out my chest.

“I just dropped the empty washing basket and sprinted to the first floor. One of the neighbours opened her door and [we] slipped into the lounge. We were all on the floor while shots were fired outside the flats. Nobody dares to stand by a window when gangs are involved in a shoot-out. 

“I could have been dead.”

Opposite Pienaar’s flat, a group of primary school learners were practising their dance moves on the space between the front doors on the first floor. Their parents have told them not to do this in front of the flats.

“Sir, the safety of our children comes first and we don’t know when the gangsters will come back. At least at the space on the first floor our children are safe and can duck for cover if shots are fired,” a 54-year-old mother said.

In front, Leanne Pienaar hangs up her washing in Clarke Estate in Cape Town while Noel Small stands behind her, on the lookout for gunmen running into the area. (Photo: Vincent Cruywagen)

At a nearby flat, Noel Small (49) and his wife Valerie (48) were basking in the sun. They are aware that sitting outside puts their lives in danger. 

But the fear of gunshots is the least of their worries. They are more concerned about their 18-year-old matriculant son who was arrested last year along with other members of the Disciples gang in connection with a murder.

“Because of my son’s arrest he couldn’t complete his matric exams last year. My son is not a murderer or a gangster. He was just walking with gang members when he was arrested. His whole life has been destroyed.

“We have handed a lawyer documents from the school that our son is a matriculant. Those documents were not handed in court and we don’t know what to do any more,” the father said.

High school learners, in the presence of their parents, shared their daily ordeal of being robbed by gangsters on their way to school. Learners living in Clarkes Estate have to cross a railway line on their way to the high school in Elsies River.

One learner said: “Every morning we are robbed by gangsters standing at the railway crossing. They take our phones and anything valuable we might have. They even… throw out our books and take our bags.

“A couple of us have been assaulted. Our greatest fear is what if those gangsters decide one morning to rape the female learners.” DM/MC

Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 2

  • “My son is not a murderer or a gangster. He was just walking with gang members when he was arrested.”

    Ag, ya, that doesn’t look good. Why is your son hanging out with gangsters if he is not a gangster?

  • I worked there,it was always a struggle to convince people staying in the affluent areas when I gave drug talks ,”you wanna know what faith is go to the cape flats where people duck and dive bullets on there way to church or mosque and back.Where you can’t even have a braai in your yard for fear of stray bullets.”Will it ever change?Only if the police take a really hard stance and are backed by courts with harsh sentences.If the cape flats get economical injections where people and young people get job opportunities.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted