The return of PAGAD?

With all the drama happening on the Cape Flats of recent. We’ve been seeing gang violence rock the townships and resulting in major death tolls all over the place. Things have become so serious that the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille has asked the SANDF for assistance. This morning I heard of another organization that has asked for a rethink. Is it time PAGAD got a welcomed return?

The infamous organization that was very prominent from 1995 to 2000 has been in the background of events for some time now. Not least because over 100 of its most prominent member have been arrested and sentenced to lengthy stays in prison. Though they have always remained vigilant even though they have been forced underground. The law has in most cases been against them, but with things seemingly getting out of the control of the police Forces do we need a different type of approach to this scourge?

This is the right up prior to the interview on 567 CapeTalk this morning.

We’ve seen a rise in the number of gang-related violence over the past few weeks. In the last five months, 22 people, including seven children have fallen victim to gang violence and calls to have the army intervene have grown louder, with the most prominent voice of concern aired from Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille. Some have even suggested we get the likes of PAGAD back into action – but without the negative aspect that tarnished their name. Osman Sahib, assistant national coordinator of PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) says that it is essential that we all unite together to and face the gangsters head on and make them stop. With regards to the period of 1995 to 2000, Sahib says that there were many allegations and much negative publicity, but a lot of those allegations never went to court or resulted in convictions. He went on to say that there has been a lot of success with the PAGAD programme with people willing to sacrifice their lives for the cause. Now, the people who are willing to do something are the ones being shackled and masked. Authorities are denying PAGAD’s right to get involved. He says that, when PAGAD was forced to take a back foot, the problem escalated quickly. Lastly, if nothing is done, what other option is there but for PAGAD to get involved?

Now most people would have a very negative view of the organization because of their extreme actions to deliver their manifesto. PAGAD has always had people’s attention for more than that reason. They’re fighting a good fight, and have before said they are willing to break the law to protect the people. People against Gangsterism and Drugs sounds just like what the Cape Flats and other affected areas need right now.



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