Commandos were responsible for the safeguarding and protection of a specific community (usually rural but sometimes urban). Commando services are usually referred to as area protection, a system which involves the whole community. The participants in the Commando system do not have military commitments outside of the areas they serve, and are responsible for the safety and security of their own communities.
The origins of the Boer military structure called the commando go back to 1770. At this time, the Boers needed to be able to raise an army to defend themselves against, attack the local tribesmen or take part in the frequent military skirmishes of the time. The problem was that they had insufficient funds to pay for a standing army. The commando system was devised as the solution. It required that men between the ages of 16 and 60 make themselves available to fight in times of need for the benefit of all in their community. All burghers were responsible for arming themselves and were expected to have access to a rifle and ammunition. Those in the Free State from farms were also expected to provide themselves with a horse. The commando was organised on a regional basis. The country was divided into districts and districts into wards or wyks.
In 2003, Western Cape police’s specialised gang unit was disbanded by then-police commissioner Jackie Selebi. There are more than 12 recognised street gangs and three prison gangs in the Western Cape, according to the SAPS. An estimate from the early nineties lists the total number of gangs in Cape Town at 130, and gangsters at 100,000, in 2005.
Gangsterism in the Western Cape is rife. In 2013, 12% of the 2,580 murders in the province were gang-related (2nd behind arguments turned violent), according to the South African Police Service. This is an 86% increase from 2012. In addition, children as young as 14 are being arrested on gang-related murder charges. If the social and environmental factors that nurture gangsterism are left unaddressed, there will be small hope for the children and young adults gripped by gangs in the Western Cape.
Youth gangs on the Cape Flats are well established; however, there are burgeoning youth “proto-gangs” growing in size in Khayelitsha and Nyanga as well. This is according to Dr Kelly Gillespie, an anthropologist at the University of the Witswatersrand, who has engaged in research into criminal justice in the Western Cape for the past twelve years and has more recently researched the growing youth gangs in Khayelitsha. She describes these proto-gangs as groups which are not yet fully formed gangs, but which exhibit many of the characteristics of formal gang structures. A combination of drugs, lack of safe common spaces, and the inter-generational transmission of violence lead to the creation of teen gangsters. He also argues that children often look to emulate their fathers or uncles when joining gangs.
The extent of the problem in South Africa is so far-reaching that nobody – not the police or government – can say when gangsterism would be addressed in its finality. Many are still unconvinced that increasing police force members would stop or reduce gang activities, not only in Cape Town, but South Africa as a whole. It would seem that self-defence – of individuals and communities – is the only way to fight gangsterism. The police and government have thus far failed. Many innocent people are losing their lives while the police concentrate on disarming rather than arming the people. If people in gang-ridden areas were taught to arm themselves and take a stand against the thugs that traumatise them daily, the gangsters would have the tables turned on them. The truth is, gangsters prefer unarmed victims and like all criminals, gangsters fear armed citizens.
The common perception is that gangsterism is a so-called Coloured phenomenon. Yet, it is Blacks – as far back as the 19th century – who started the numbers gangs. It is not surprising, then, that most gangster “taal” (street slang) is made up of Black terminology. This “taal” has even made its way into the lives of common people, who use it without knowing the meaning behind each term or word. This has led to many being mistaken for members of a gang. Nellie Cupido, a mother from Delft (Cape Town), watched in horror as her son was being butchered to death while on his way from school. “He didn’t belong to a gang,” she says. “But he had picked up this language on the streets.” According to witnesses, the gang insisted that he belonged to a rival gang which operated in the same area. They killed him, in broad daylight.
Gangs control large areas, usually communities or parts of cities and towns. These areas are known as “turfs.” Each gang normally has their own turf, which they guard with their lives from other gangs. Here they manipulate their illicit activities, which include prostitution, drug dealing and shebeens. Gangs gained more and more power in communities, and they began spreading. The forced removals of Coloureds from District Six in 1966, helped disperse gangsterism throughout the Cape Flats. Shebeen owners and some store owners must pay protection fees to the local gang. If not, the gang would make it very difficult for them, using intimidation tactics and threats. Many of these have been carried out, resulting in either loss of property or death.
Despite this, many communities have become dependent on the illegal and sometimes dangerous activities of gangsters. Money-laundering is big business for any gang. That is why controlling and protecting large turfs are so important. People who may never obtain loans elsewhere, are afforded loans by large gangs. In return, the gangsters get paid “interest” on the loans they hand out. On the other hand, communities would not readily expose their saviours – either out of fear, or because they would have nowhere to go to obtain their monthly loans. They see the gang as providing a much-needed service. Most people in gang-ridden communities are either unemployed, or make so little money, they are forced to turn to the gangsters for help. On the other extreme, non-payment of an account held with gangsters could result in tragic consequences.
Most people are roped into gangsterism at an early age, from the ages of ten to sixteen years. Their leaders would be between thirty and fifty years of age. Because of the poverty-stricken environments they come from, many males are drawn into the gang arena by the attraction of money, power and glamour with which they associate gangsterism. They dream of the flashy cars, massive gold jewellery, immense amounts of money, and the power to control a whole town – as their ultimate goal. In reality, however, it is far from being what they thought it would be. Yet, as youngsters, they do not see further than their own ignorance. From the moment they join a gang, their lives become an orgy of murders, robberies, rapes and drunkenness that they would sometimes not understand or have wanted.
A survey was conducted during 2014 in six provinces of South Africa namely Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. The aims of the study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of school stakeholders of school violence and the nature of violence that takes place in South African schools. The findings suggest that Gangsterism is of serious concern in South African schools and is one of the external factors that exacerbate violence in schools. This is true in all provinces studied and particularly in the Western Cape and Limpopo. Gangsterism is, however, not restricted to one province but is found in schools throughout South Africa. In South Africa, urbanization has been characterized by a history of repression and poverty, especially of people living in townships, informal settlements and single-sex migrant hostels.
Gangs emerge from within communities themselves and this phenomenon has many root causes like socioeconomic conditions (unemployment, low-income employment, and poor living conditions) all leading to conditions of poverty and deprivation (The Portfolio Committee on Education 2002). Within schools, and particularly in the Grade 4 year, the following behaviours become more and more prevalent: poor academic performance, learning difficulties, truancy, attrition antisocial behaviour due low self-esteem. Sometimes, innocent learners can be drawn or forced into violent behaviour, alcohol and drug abuse by joining gangs, as this provides them with a sense of belonging. Furthermore, one of the reasons that learners for instance, easily identify with street gangs is that they believe that such associations fulfil the need for the transition from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. They are also made to feel accepted by and important in a society that is ruled by gang leaders.
until next time ….
KOMMUNISME: BENDES, GEWELD, DWELMS EN WAPENS IN SUID-AFRIKA: MOORD OP BLANKES, AFRIKANERS EN BOERE
Ons wat bekend was met die verskillende “kommando-sisteme” van die verlede, veral op plase, soms in stede, weet dat hulle ‘n groot doel gedien en positiewe resultate gelewer het. Daar was selfs vee kommando’s. Gevolgtrekkings kan dus self gemaak word hoekom dit regtig verwyder is. Gelukkig hoef hierdie sisteem nie te verdwyn nie, en sou skrywer voorstel dat ‘n ander naam(e) gebruik word, om alle aandag vanaf die “naam” daarvan weg te lei. Boere, Afrikaners en Blankes, wees kreatief en geniet die buurtwagtes in jou omgewing of skep jou eie sisteem, weg van die woord wat ons veiligheid ‘n prioriteit maak. Daar kan strukture in plek gestel word wat ons eie buurtes beveilig, wat uiteindelik aangewend kan word om selfbeskikking te bereik.
Beter skakeling en kommunikasie lei tot vinniger optredes en moorde kan beperk word. Inteendeel kan hierdie mafia gestuit word met eksterne selfbeskikking.
Email ons jou area asseblief, ons is besig om strukture te skep: email@example.com
Iets wat die gereg nie uit die oog moet verloor nie, is dat bende-moordenaars ‘n groot oorsaak kan wees van gru-geweld onder ons Boere, Blankes en Afrikaners. Dit is nie slegs plaasgeweld wat al ons blankes teister nie, maar ook geweld in stede en dorpe. Loop mens op straat sal ‘n enkelling nie aanvallend voorkom of wees nie, maar waar daar twee of meer is, wel – wees op die uitkyk daarvoor.
Selde tydens operasies of hofverrigtinge, word opgemerk dat daar een-een opereer, daar is altyd ‘n paar moordenaars wat uit is om alles te neem wat hulle kan en sal nie skroom om ‘n huis af te brand om enige bewyse te vernietig. Gesien dat die patroon wat die aanvallers toon, baie ooreenkoms toon wat die afgelope 100 jaar in Suid-Afrika gebeur, of selfs langer terug nagevolg kan word – kan dit aan bende-geweld toegeskryf word.
Die mening word gehuldig dat hierdie bendes as huur-moordenaars betaal en gebruik word. Somtyds is dit swaar gewapende en gevaarlike bendes wat die golf van misdaad in die hele Suid-Afrika bloots ry. Die Polisie is nie opgewasse vir hierdie tipe bende-geweld nie. Duidelik is daar “hande” en “meesterbreine” agter ons gevaarlike bendes. Hulle is spesifiek opgelei en gevoelloos om lewens te neem. Verskeie faktore dra daartoe by dat daar heelwat bendes in Suid-Afrika opereer en spesifieke opdragte het. Meeste van hulle is gebreinspoel deur geld, dwelms en veral kommunisme, want dit is presies die nagevolge waarmee ons vandag te kampe het. Ons veg al jare teen kommunisme wat Suid-Afrika wil plunder – nie net van minerale nie, maar alle kulture uit die weg te ruim. Afrikaners, Boere en Blankes is net makliker teikens omdat hul velkleur lig is.
Om die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisie te mislei word ‘n selfoon of televisiestel gesteel – juis om dit as gewone misdaad te laat deurgaan. Het ons SAP regtig vaardigheid, kennis en ondervinding om dieper te kyk na mafia-bendes wat tans Suid-Afrika regeer? Heelwat van ons lede wat opgeneem is in 1994 in die onderskeie afdelings van die Polisie en Weermag, was self betrokke by terreur en bende-geweld. Hulle weet presies hoe dit werk – is dit hoekom daar soveel Polisielede is wat betrokke is en van ons wapens wat so verdwyn? Maak hierdie bende-mafia’s deel uit van sommige magslede? Heelwat vuurwapens raak “roekeloos” weg of word eenvoudig verkoop.
Kommerwekkend is die hoeveelheid kinder-bendes wat ook by hierdie tipe geweld betrokke is. Kinders en jeuglede word onder die Kinderwet beskerm en word ook as sulks deur die Hof hanteer. Heelwat jeuglede kom weg met moord, met ‘n waarskuwing onder ouerlike toesig, terwyl die ware misdadigers buite skotvry wegkom. Selfs tydens hofsake word die jeugmisdadigers beskerm deur die Kinderwet. Die mafia base weet dit en buit ons jeug uit om dade te doen, want hulle weet hulle kom ligter of skotvry daarvan af. Intussen floreer die mafia bendes in Suid-Afrika.
Ons landsgrense is oopgegooi, vir kilometers is daar geen lyndrade nie en beweeg bendes met gemak. Hul pleeg hul moord, met geen spoor in Suid-Afrika nie, juis omdat bendelede elkeen verskillende opdragte het om uit te voer – hulle help mekaar om spore dood te vee. Terwyl een of twee besig is om die hond te vergiftig word twee tot vier gebruik om wonings binne te gaan om sodoende die opdragte uit te voer en om “iets” te neem sodat dit lyk na inbraak of diefstal. Selfs bediendes en en werkers word ingespan om werkgewers vir weke dop te hou, foto’s te neem en aan te stuur vir die mafia-base wat die finale beplanning doen.
Panga-geweld vind baie in Afrika en ook elders plaas waar spesifiek swartes gebruik word om tonele in te gaan om ander swartes en blankes te vermoor. In Afrika en veral die midde ooste word sulke bendes ook aangewend om veral Christene uit te vermoor. Hierdie bendes is ‘n spesifieke taak opgelê om geloofsgroepe te teiken. Hulle word betaal om dit te doen.
Dit wil ook voorkom dat dieselfde bendes wat Afrikaners, Boere en Blankes vermoor, waarskynlik ‘n skakel het met die bendes om die Indiërs, Bruinmense, Khoi San en andere in die Kaap , op die Kaapse Vlakte asook Atlantis , en veral die arm gebiede. Hulle word eers met dwelms gevoer, sodat hulle afhanklik word van dwelms. Dwelms laat jou groot voel en jou dade aggressief.
Dwelms speel waarskynlik ‘n groot rol en word soms misgekyk omdat dit as ‘n “wapen” aangewend word, want verslawing van die slagoffers vind vinniger plaas en om dan toe te slaan op die ouers of familielede is soveel makliker teikens.
Waarskuwing aan ouers: Lig julle kinders en jeug in oor die gebruik en nagevolge van dwelms. Wees op die uitkyk daarvoor in jou eie huis.
(English follow soon).
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