Gangsterism is rearing its ugly head at Dan and surrounding villages outside Tzaneen in Limpopo. Two rival gangs – one named after the Nigerian militant group “Boko Haram” and “Sankhinyo” are allegedly terrorising the communities as they are fighting for dominance in the area.
Residents have allegedly been robbed of their belongings such as cell phones, money or whatever they might have in their possessions. Police have promised to work around the clock to curb the problem.
Mentioning the name Boko Haram sends chills down the spines of the residents at Dan, Rhulani and Lusaka villages outside Tzaneen. The gangs have been terrorising communities for the past few weeks. Some residents say the streets are not safe at night as they have been taken over by the rival gangs.
Earlier this year, some suspected gang members were arrested for alleged assault. Some were released due to lack of evidence. Residents say that gangs have again taken over the streets after few months of relative peace.
“During the night time you have to be afraid because this place is dangerous they’re raping each other each and every day they say they got Boko Haram in this area. No it’s not safe at all totally it’s not safe they’re fighting now and then there’re robbery everywhere you go. We’re not safe here we’re even scared to send our young little brothers and sisters to go and buy something .I think it was last week this other girl schooling at Magoza high school was raped. This community is having a lot of gangsters like there’s Boko Haram and “sankhinyo’ they take advantage of us sometimes they take what you have in your pockets sometimes they take what you’ve bought from the shop,” said one one concerned resident.
Residents say although gang members are known and live amongst them they believe that reporting them to the police will not help. They suspect that the gangsters might be collaborating with the men in blue as they’re released each time they get arrested.
“With the police station around the corner but with these thugs having domination over them you’ll be very surprised that these things happen in full view but there’s nothing tangible that they’re doing some of the police are collaborating with these thugs.”
They are people whom we know but when they work they say they’re starting to work when they do that thing we need police to solve this problem like to find ourselves safe in this community.
Police say they were not aware that the problem of gangsterism at Dan and Lusaka villages has resurfaced. Police spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe appeals to anyone with information to contact them.
Police have promised to monitor the situation to ensure that residents are safe.