Gang wars: Carnage in Worcester
Farren Collins | 2017-03-23 10:24:24.0
SHATTERED: An Avian Park resident walks past one of the nine house destroyed by residents furious about gang violence.
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER
A week of gang violence in Worcester has left five people dead, five with gunshot wounds, and nine homes torched.
Families are fleeing their homes in the suburb of Avian Park as violence reaches terrifying proportions.
The unrest began last week when a resident of Avian Park was shot dead, allegedly by a gang member. A video of the shooting attracted thousands of views on social media.
Residents say the homes that have been set on fire belong to relatives of gangsters. The fires have sparked voluntary evacuations by neighbours fearful that they might be next
On Monday night alone there were two murders and four attempted murders in Avian Park.
“The gangs are not only fighting among themselves, they are also fighting the parents and families of other gangsters,” said a resident who works in the community, who did not want to be named.
“I’ve seen lots of new houses that have been damaged, stoned and burned. Most of the people are not in their houses. They have fled to family members and to farms where people don’t know them.”
Residents are said to be fed up with the Junior Cisko Yakkies gang, and are said to have aided smaller local gangs in trying to drive them out of Avian Park.
Additional police were sent to the area on Tuesday “to deal with the volatile situation”, police spokes-man Captain FC van Wyk said.
Roads were closed and traffic rerouted as the police’s stabilisation and public order units went into the area.
“Our members will stay in the area to monitor the situation until everything has stabilised,” said Van Wyk.
Safety and security MEC Dan Plato met the community at Breede River High School on Tuesday.
The community worker, who has worked with gangs in the area for more than 11 years, said neighbours were “fed up” and “humiliated” because innocent people had been killed.
The situation had calmed down when The Times visited the area yesterday but residents said the respite was only temporary.
“It’s calmed down now but that’s because it’s still early and it’s very hot, but we’re expecting anything [to happen],” said the community worker.