Soldiers patrol as they are deployed to quell gang violence in Manenberg township, Cape Town. Picture: REUTERS/Shafiek Tassiem
Soldiers patrol as they are deployed to quell gang violence in Manenberg township, Cape Town. Picture: REUTERS/Shafiek Tassiem

On a crisp, beautiful, sunny morning on the Cape Peninsula last weekend, my home assistant was throttled and held at knifepoint by eight young men as she walked to the taxi rank in Masiphumelele. She arrived at work physically intact, but emotionally bereft. She nearly lost her life.

There have always been gangsters and thugs in "Masi", but my assistant says there has been a radical increase in the past few days, as the army deployment on the Cape Flats has caused the "riff-raff" to jump ship to unprotected townships.

The citizens of Masi and other troubled townships in the Cape urgently need protection from lawlessness. Deploying the army only in some areas has simply caused the thugs to move to other less protected areas.

Caryl Richmond
Noordhoek, Cape Town

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