The Cape Town residents can finally breathe again as a long-lasting wave of violence that had swept the region broke and started to roll back. The government has eventually kept its promise to deploy the army to Cape Town’s violence-infested areas.
The soldiers from 8 SA Infantry battalion rolled into Manenberg and Hanover Park, two of Cape Town’s worst affected gang areas, on Thursday afternoon.
The army command had split the soldiers into groups of armoured vehicles accompanying various police and metro police units as they performed road-blocks and raided the houses of suspected gangsters.
The excited children were seen running to the streets and playing around the military vehicles on Thursday evening.
“We couldn’t go out. They [gangsters] ruined our holiday. The skollies are just shooting everyday, bah bah bah bah bah,” one of the kids claimed, imitating the sound of gunshots. They told of how their school holidays were repeatedly ruined by the persistent shootings and murders.
“The shootings has been very bad. They closed the churches and the mosques. We prayed for this moment every night,” Hanover Park resident Colin Brady stated.
“They shot here last night. They killed two people in this field here. Six people last week. If you leave, tonight it will be the same,” another resident said with an expression of desperation.
Geraldine Pretorius, the local resident, complained it had been a long time since she had seen people on the streets like on Thursday night.
“I haven’t been to church in two weeks. They must remove these bad elements now,” she urged.