South Africa: Army Deployed As Gang Violence Escalates to Unprecedented Levels and Residents Cry Out for Help

Residents in anti-gang protests in Hanover Park township in the Western Cape

Bloodshed on the Cape Flats has reached crisis proportions. It's being called 'the worst year in history' -- and not by grieving communities, but by the Western Cape government itself. Mortuary statistics suggest that 900 people were murdered in gang violence between January and June 2019, figures which are almost double the previous year's. Residents say enough is enough -- while the army is being deployed in a desperate attempt to seize control.

Mary Bruce, 48, is a community activist from Hanover Park, affectionately known to all and sundry as Aunty Mary.

Aunty Mary has been a mentor to at-risk youth in Hanover Park after losing her eldest son, a gang member, in a shooting in 2014. She runs a programme called What About The Children's Dream in honour of her son's memory. Her small flat has become an unofficial refuge for Hanover Park children seeking solace from the turbulent conditions of their homes.

But on Sunday 7 July, Aunty Mary was caught in the crossfire herself: blasted in the leg with bullets while hanging up her family's washing behind the Donegal Court flat block where she lives.

From right to left: Zorah Motasi, chairperson of Vroue in Aksie and...

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