South Africa: The Heartbreak of the Cape Flats

opinion

On Tuesday 20 November 2019 Maverick Citizen began publishing a series of interviews with moms who have lost children to the gang violence in the Cape Flats. We want you to look these women in the eyes and understand their pain. Today, we are privileged to publish an essay by journalist and novelist Rehana Roussow, offering her personal close-to-home perspective on the origins and causes of the violence.

Rehana's award winning first novel, 'What will People Say?' (2015), is a searing, heart-breaking fictionalised account of the life of the Fourie family, wracked by gang-violence in Hanover Park during the turbulent, changing South Africa of the late 1980s. It is a South African classic, recommended reading for anyone who cares about the marginalised people and communities of our country. Sadly though, the real-life stories we are telling today suggests that little has changed:

Anyone who thinks that gang violence on the Cape Flats is only criminal activity that can be solved by sending more men with guns on to its streets is sorely deluded. According to Western Cape mortuary figures, murder rates on the Cape Flats did not decrease in 2019 after the army was deployed, as they were in the...

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