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#CapeTalkGangs: exploring organised crime rings and the notorious number gangs

Gangsterism is a difficult reality for people living in the Western Cape, with children as young as 14 being arrested on gang-related murder charges.

CapeTalk presenter Kieno Kammies hosted a live studio audience and a diverse panel of experts to explore the scourge of organised crime and gangsterism in the province.

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

The history of gangs

According to Major General Jeremy Veary, Western Cape Deputy police commissioner for detective services, gangs have existed long before the formation of institutional policing in the country.

Veary retold the history of the notorious number gangs, also recounting the gang-related attack at St Albans prison.

Life as a 28s member

Reformed 28s gangster Magadien Wentzel, says the course of his life changed when he was initiated at what was formerly known as Victor Verster Prison (now Drakenstein Correctional Centre).

Wentzel was an aspiring lawyer at the University of the Western Cape when he was first arrested, and has collectively spent almost 25 years in prison.

He turned his life around after he was released 12 years ago, but at the moment he is without fixed employment and living in Manenberg.

Organised crime - a game changer

Policing specialist and criminologist, Eldred de Klerk, advises that the nature of gangs has changed over the years because of the growing impact of networked crime.

According to de Klerk, organised crime is changing the 'romance' associated with joining gangs.

He also warns that negotiating with such groups can often have unintended consequences, such as increasing the gangs footprint and escalating violence.

Below are some of the quotes captured during the live broadcast:

A selection of quotes from the panel discussion on crime and gang culture in the Western Cape during CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies.

Posted by CapeTalk on Friday, September 18, 2015

Following the panel discussion live on air, the conversation continued between the speakers and studio audience members.

Listen to the continued conversation below:

For other highlights from the conversation, search Twitter for the hashtag #CapeTalkGangs.

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