The mid-90s in Cape Town should have been a time to rejoice in the transition to a hard-fought democracy, but for many Cape Flats residents it was a period of fear and turmoil.
The Hard Livings gang fought a deadly turf war against the Americans. Pagad, the People Against Gangsterism and Drugs, launched a violent vigilante campaign against the gangsters.
There were nightly marches, drive-bys and shoot-outs. And at the heart of it: two brothers. One died in flames. The other will be released from prison today.
Rashied and Rashaad Staggie were twins. Together they ran the feared Hard Livings gang. They were known as "the untouchables", and compared admiringly to Britain's violent gangster duo the Kray brothers.
The two would reportedly toss R10 notes to school kids from the windows of their cars as they drove by. Anti-gangsterism advocates complained impotently that the Staggies, rumoured to be making over R30,000 a day, were becoming role models for the young men of impoverished Cape Flats communities.
But untouchable they were not. The images seen in 1996 of Rashaad Staggie writhing on the ground engulfed in flames will be easy to summon to mind for many South Africans....