Gangs at Mlungisi schools

The Rep - - NEWS - ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

In­ci­dents of gang­ster­ism by pupils in Mlungisi have raised a red flag in the com­mu­nity with the Nomzamo Neigh­bour­hood Watch warn­ing pupils to stay away from in­volve­ment in gangs.

Nomzamo Neigh­bour­hood Watch leader Andile Zondi said the first gang fight be­tween two groups took place in Nomzamo two weeks ago.

He said pupils from KwaKo­mani Com­pre­hen­sive School and Lu­vuyo Lerumo High School were be­lieved to have been in­volved, with a Lu­vuyo Lerumo pupil stabbed three times in the back, arm and in a fin­ger.

He re­ceived med­i­cal at­ten­tion at Fron­tier Hos­pi­tal and no case was opened.

“The boys were al­legedly fight­ing about a girl.”

Zondi said the neigh­bour­hood watch had called a meet­ing which was also at­tended by the po­lice and par­ents to speak to the chil­dren on the dan­gers of be­com­ing in­volved in gangs.

“We called them to tell them if they con­tin­ued with this con­flict, we are go­ing to dis­ci­pline them. Gang­ster­ism does not only pose a dan­ger to its mem­bers but to the com­mu­nity at large.”

He said watch mem­bers had also pre­vi­ously stopped a con­fronta­tion in­volv­ing gangs with spades and knives who were about to at­tack each oth­ers.

“When they saw us ap­proach­ing, the group dis­persed. We held a meet­ing with one group be­cause we could not get the sec­ond group with their par­ents and the po­lice had as­sisted us in get­ting the boys to the meet­ing. The pupils agreed to end their in­volve­ment with the gangs.”

He said the gangs in­volved groups of about 17 to 20 mem­bers, start­ing from ages 15 and up.

In spite of the two meet­ings, Zondi said more needed to be done to stop any in­volve­ment in gangs.

“We thought it would be more ef­fec­tive if we go around the four schools as part of an aware­ness cam­paign, warn­ing pupils that gang­ster­ism should end. We want them to know that gang­ster­ism does not take a per­son any­where but to jail and straight to the grave.”

He said the teach­ers were happy about the aware­ness ini­tia­tive.

“They told us they did not know how they would han­dle the mat­ter as the pupils did not re­spect their au­thor­ity. They were wor­ried that the gang­ster­ism would soon re­sult in a death.”

KwaKo­mani prin­ci­pal Sizwe Mru­bata said, “I ap­pre­ci­ate what the Nomzamo Neigh­bour­hood Watch is do­ing be­cause our chal­lenge is that such is­sues usu­ally start in the com­mu­nity be­fore they en­ter the school. I was happy to see that there are com­mu­nity mem­bers who un­der­stand that they have a role to play.

“I be­lieve gang­ster­ism is sparked by drugs be­cause the pupils who form part of these groups also use drugs.”

Lu­vuyo Lerumo prin­ci­pal Sim­phiwe Ty­i­lana said,” Nomzamo Neigh­bour­hood Watch is do­ing a good job by show­ing sup­port to erad­i­cate gang­ster­ism which has the po­ten­tial to en­dan­ger peo­ple’s lives.”

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