Save our children! Dooming new statistics reveals 333 children caught in the crossfires of hate and gang violence in six months

“Gang violence has many parts of the Western Cape in a vice grip, and our children are the ones caught in the crossfires. The numbers reveal a terrible and tragic reality. According to Western Cape Health and Wellness Department, a  total of 333 children were treated for firearm-related injuries at hospitals in the Western Cape between the first of January and the 12th of June,” said Head of Action Society’s Action Centre, Kaylynn Palm. 

During the same period of six months, 58 children lost their lives in shooting incidents. The violence is almost overwhelming with 23 800 children being rushed to hospital for stabbings, blunt assault and gender based violence. 

There is nowhere safe for vulnerable children in these gang infested areas of the Western Cape.  According to Palm they have infested school grounds as well. “How are we going to save our children? They are being shot as they walk to school or when they simply go to the barber for a haircut; some of them are as young as 12 months. Gangsters are killing our babies.” 

Manenberg, Hanover Park, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Nyanga have been identified as hotspots for gang related activities. “These are known hotspots, and clearly more needs to be done to protect children. We are calling on the government for a focused and deliberate intervention to root out gangsterism and make these areas safe for children,” added Palm. 

“We can’t have a future in South Africa if our children aren’t safe to go to school or to get a haircut. It is our duty to foster an environment for children where they can live their lives peacefully,  free of the fear of a stray bullet ending their lives or being a helpless and innocent victim of a senseless mass shooting,” concluded Palm. 

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