There was a recent attack on prison warders at Drakenstein Prison near Paarl, where nine officials were wounded, five seriously. They were stabbed while conducting routine morning patrols and searches.
The Department of Correctional Services said the inmates involved in the stabbings belonged to the numbered gangs, namely the 26s, 27s and 28s gangs. The crime was was committed as a ritual to authenticate the prisoners admission into the gang.
He needed to build a camp according to his code— Major General Jeremy Veary
According to Major General Jeremy Veary, the head of the SAPS' Operation Combat, there are distinctions to be made between gang initiation processes in the prison system and those in the streets.
Veary says there is a pattern of gang initiations taking place over weekends, after lockdown takes place on Friday afternoons, and it has a history spanning over 150 years.
Veary adds that gangs operating in communities recruit new members based on their "business model" - as they will need people to fill various roles - from merchants to guards, to pointsmen (to direct people towards particular shebeens or drug dens) and foot soldiers.
The street gangs are run like normal businesses and its functions determine how many people need to be recruited— Major General Jeremy Veary
Listen to Kieno Kammie's full interview with Major General Veary below: