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Youth must be wrested away from culture of gangsterism – Sanco

JOHANNESBURG, June – The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on Saturday appealed for the “partnership between police and communities” to be strengthened to wrest youth away from the destructive culture of gangsterism and drugs.

“The senseless violence as well as the reign of terror by gangsters has destroyed the moral fibre of some of the communities that need to be freed from the cycle of violence and hopelessness,” Sanco national spokesman Jabu Mahlangu said.

He welcomed the 22-year sentence handed down earlier this week to a notorious Manenberg, Cape Town, gangster for a host of charges, including murder.

Mahlangu said he hoped justice had been served for the families who lost their loved ones because of the “ghastly and heinous acts that were committed by Alfonso Seconds”.

Seconds was sentenced on Thursday for the murder of two young men in 2015 and 2016. According to Western Cape police spokeswoman Noloyiso Rwexana he was also convicted on charges of attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, as well as a charge under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act which related to his gang activities.

“Efforts to rid communities of gangsters need to be intensified and adequate resources deployed for this purpose,” Mahlangu said.

No effort should be spared in giving children growing up in gang infested communities a chance to live in a drug-free and safe environment, he said.

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on Friday called on young people to draw inspiration from the 1976 generation and to “step up to contribute solutions to the current challenges facing South Africa”.

Sanco spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu, said: “Our youth must resist the temptation to be captured and swayed by crass materialism that will compromise the historic role they have to play to sustain our freedom, democracy and advance development. They have to choose their role models carefully.”

Mahlangu said that youth unemployment was a ticking time bomb that had to be defused through vocational training and skills development programmes.

“We cannot afford to lose this generation to hopelessness, drugs and gangsterism when opportunities that the class of 1976 did not imagine possible are available,” he emphasised.

He stressed that SMME development supported by mentoring programmes would boost job creation, support infrastructure development and economic growth, as well as give hope to young people that were disillusioned.

Mahlangu urged the private sector to play its part in youth development.

“Social grants are not a sustainable solution. The economic participation of our youth is critical to address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” he said.

ANA

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