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Cape Town is often portrayed as two cities in one. The disparities in wealth and numbers are stark. So is safety, an issue highlighted in recent months by incidents of mass shootings in Khayelitsha, its vast, poorest and most populous township spread across much of the Cape Flats.
The centre of Cape Town is only 30km from Khayelitsha but, for all their proximity, the city and its sprawling suburb could be on separate planets. Thirty people were shot in three incidents in Khayelitsha between March and July. Another 86 were killed between April 2021 and March this year. The police commander of the area, Maj-Gen Vincent Beaton, says there have been 36 incidents of mass shootings in those 12 months. In the same period there were 513 murders, he says. The rest of the city was left relatively unscathed and the Khayelitsha killings were given only perfunctory coverage in local media...
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