I couldn’t go through that hell again – mom

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - KOWTHAR SOLOMONS kowthar.solomons@inl.co.za

MITCHELLS Plain mother Ja­coba Adams is ter­ri­fied that her 21-year-old son Ja­son, a Rude Boys gang mem­ber, will die like his 16-year-old brother Mar­quine, killed in a gan­gre­lated shoot­ing last Oc­to­ber.

Ja­son was al­most killed in the same shoot­ing that took the life of his brother, a mem­ber of the same gang. Re­cently, he was held at gun­point by ri­val gang­sters, but man­aged to es­cape – al­though he is still a tar­get, she says.

Adams said her youngest son’s death dev­as­tated the fam­ily, who were still bat­tling to come to terms with the loss.

“I can’t even ex­plain the pain we felt af­ter Mar­quine’s death. I don’t think we ever grieved prop­erly and Ja­son never speaks about him. They have ar­rested two peo­ple for his death, but even if they go to jail it won’t bring back my son.

“I don’t think I could go through that Adams says.

It’s not easy for her to ad­mit Mar­quine was a gang­ster. She says only that he “just spent a lot of time with gang­sters”.

“I find it hard to say ei­ther of my sons have been in­volved with gangs. The young­sters here in Tafel­sig are just chil­dren who think they are gang­sters. They fight with sticks and stones, but don’t stand a chance when they fight real gang­sters with real guns. So many chil­dren die here be­cause they want to ‘ play’ gang­ster,” she says.

The fam­ily have tried to con­vince Ja­son to give up the gang life, but his mother says “he doesn’t lis­ten to us”.

She adds: “Maybe he wants to leave but thinks it’s too late to get out. Even if he leaves, the other gangs won’t see him as a reg­u­lar per­son. He will be branded a gang­ster for life.”

She says she won­ders whether she did some­thing

hell again,” wrong, and whether she could have changed the way things turned out.

“I worked a lot while they were grow­ing up to put food on the ta­ble, and wish I could have spent more time with my boys.”

But now her re­al­ity is that when­ever she hears a bang, she won­ders whether she’s lost Ja­son, just like she did Mar­quine.

So­cial De­vel­op­ment MEC Al­bert Fritz says there are in­ter­ven­tion pro­grammes to help young­sters get out of gangs, and that par­ents are re­quired to take part.

“A ma­jor prob­lem is par­ents pro­tect­ing the crimes of their chil­dren,” he points out.

“They may think they’re pro­tect­ing their chil­dren, but in the long run they’re stop­ping them from get­ting the help they need. There are or­gan­i­sa­tions out there that can help, they just need to reach out.”


MOTHER’S ANGUISH: Ja­coba Adams of Tafel­sig is still griev­ing for her son Mar­quine, 16, who was shot dead by a ri­val gang in De­cem­ber. Now she fears los­ing his 21-year-old brother Ja­son, also a gang­ster, to a bul­let.

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