Thousands of church-goers in Elsies River (one of the notorious townships in Cape Town, South Africa) have decided to stand up to hundreds of gangsters and drug dealers in their area. The church-goers were led by their priests who fearlessly marched to the dangerous gangsters and their bosses only brandishing bibles. Elsies River is roughly 25 KM from Cape Town's city center, yet it is filled with hundreds of gangsters who regularly shoot dead innocent people. They rob the people who work. They even rob people inside churches and other public venues.

Gangsters rule here

Dan Plato (the Western Cape minister of community safety who attended the protest) told Blasting News the law of the land is too lenient. The gangsters go to jail but the jails are similar to luxury hotels. He said gangsters and murderers don't mind at all because they get food and lodging totally free. They are allowed TV in custody, they can play games, and have access to a telephone. Plato said he only has an oversight role and he is unable to contribute in bringing about a stronger penal code. Plato added that merely 6% of murderers who get arrested are sentenced. There is not a single township in Cape Town where there is not violence (among so-called colored neighborhoods).

High school kids at risk

The gangsters have now infiltrated the high schools. They place a young gangster inside the school, buy him or her a school uniform, and pay the school fees. In return he or she must sell drugs, recruit new gang members among the young kids, and help create a culture of gangsterism and absolute and total violence.

One priest who spoke at the protest in Elsies River declined to be named and said he blames the parents of the gangsters. He said that most gangsters are youngsters who are unable to get a job, and therefore, they join a gang. The gangs have names like Americans, Hard Living Kids, Mongrels, and others. Minister Dan Plato has recruited (or rather, counter-recruited) about 1,000 gangsters into programs.

He said the Western Cape government than places these youngsters into education programs, and even into leadership training camps so that they can leave the gangster life and improve their own lives to become better citizens.