Gangs at Mlungisi schools
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.”