I couldn’t go through that hell again – mom
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.